Essential Pittsburgh
4:29 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Looking at The Numbers Behind Pittsburgh's Wage Gap

Pittsburgh has "one of the most dramatic wage gaps in the country," according to Women and Girls Foundation CEO Heather Arnet.
Pittsburgh has "one of the most dramatic wage gaps in the country," according to Women and Girls Foundation CEO Heather Arnet.
Credit Mahalie Stackpole / flickr

Women in the Pittsburgh metro area made an average of $13,407 less than their male counterparts in 2013. For male and female employees with identical levels of education and experience, the female worker will make an average of 73 cents for every dollar paid to the man, according to the National Partnership for Women and Families.

This Thursday in Market Square, groups will join together for Pittsburgh’s Equal Pay Day Rally. According to Heather Arnet, CEO of the Women and Girls Foundation, the goal of the rally is to highlight the injustice of the gap and push legislation that would allow women to fight for better pay. 

“You can see how this plays out when 75 percent of households living in poverty in Pittsburgh are single mothers raising kids on their own,” Arnet said, “These issues become economic development issues, they become community issues and we can trace lines straight from wage gap to poverty levels. If the wage gap were eliminated, a working woman in the Pittsburgh metro area would have enough money for 103 more weeks of food for her family. That’s two years worth of food. 11 more months of mortgage and utilities payments, 20 more months of rent, 3,656 additional gallons of gas. That’s what the wage gap means for women in Pittsburgh.”

Arnet says there are bills in both the Pennsylvania House of Representatives and the Senate that would help close the divide. She says despite Pittsburgh’s reputation for being “most livable city,” the highest paid leaders in the region are still primarily Caucasian men.