Wyoming's Equal Pay Day is April 2; Governor to sign proclamation
The Wyoming Council for Women (WCW) is pleased to partner with the Wyoming Women’s Foundation (WYWF) and the Equality State Policy Center (ESPC) in announcing that April 2, 2023, is Wyoming Equal Pay Day. Observed each year, the date reflects the additional number of days women in Wyoming must work in order to earn the same amount that men in Wyoming earned in the previous year. In recognition of Wyoming’s wage gap, Governor Mark Gordon is set to proclaim April 2023 Equal Pay Month in Wyoming with a formal signing taking place in the Governor’s Ceremonial Conference Room on April 12.
Wyoming Equal Pay Day was calculated using the most recently available data from The Wage Gap in Wyoming 2022: How Gender, Race and Ethnicity Affect Pay Inequity authored by University of Wyoming researchers Dr. Chian Jones Ritten and Dr. Anne Alexander, and published by WCW, WYWF and ESPC. According to the new report, Wyoming consistently ranks last or near last in wage gap analyses, even when adjusted for cost of living and regional prices. This disparity is even greater for women of color, who face both gender and racial discrimination in the workforce.
The data shows that currently, Wyoming women earn only 75 cents on the dollar compared to men and that overall, the wage gap results in an estimated loss of $1.5 billion to the Wyoming economy.
The report explains that the wage gap reflects the barriers women face in accessing well-paying jobs and meeting caregiving responsibilities. This includes a lack of available child care, paid family and medical leave, and fair and predictable scheduling, which often prevent women from joining and staying in the workforce.
“The WCW works to eliminate economic barriers and advance opportunities for women in Wyoming,” said WCW Chair Jennifer Wilmetti. “By shining a light on data that illustrates these barriers, we can better communicate with stakeholders across the state how important women are to the economy in Wyoming."
In a Wyoming Labor Force Trends released in December 2022, the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services (DWS) Research and Planning unit revealed that more women held multiple jobs (10,632) than men (6,895) in Wyoming in 2022, even though men made up a greater share of the state’s workforce. The largest number of men with multiple jobs worked in industries such as trade, transportation, utilities, leisure, and hospitality, while the greatest number of women with more than one job worked in industries such as health care and social assistance, and educational services.
“Wyoming has a big opportunity when it comes to the wage gap. It is striking to think about just how much Wyoming’s economy would benefit from women making wages equal to men. For instance, this report found the average Wyoming woman could buy 8,402 additional gallons of gas each year with money that represents the wage gap. When you think about the amount women could spend back into their communities, equal wages would be a huge win-win for families and for the Wyoming economy,” says Rebekah Hazelton, WYWF Director.
The public is invited to join in the Equal Pay Month proclamation signing at 2 pm on April 12 in the Governor’s Ceremonial Conference Room in the Wyoming State Capitol Building located at 200 W. 24th Street in Cheyenne. For questions regarding visiting the capitol, contact (307) 777-7220 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information and to download the report, please visit www.wywf.org/gender-wage-gap.