Women in Michigan have made considerable advances in economic status in recent years, but still face inequities that often prevent them from reaching their full potential.
Since the 2004 Status of Women in the States report by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research was published, the gender wage gap in Michigan has narrowed, a higher percentage of women have bachelor’s degrees, and a larger share of women live in poverty. Hispanic/Latina women in Michigan aged 16 and older who work full-time, year-round make 58 cents for every dollar earned by White men who work full-time, year-round, Black women earn 63 cents on the dollar, and White women 80 cents on the dollar (Institute for Women’s Policy Research).
Despite being paid less, women’s earnings are increasingly important to the economic stability of families. In Michigan, 45% of single female-headed households are living in poverty (ALICE Report). And many women without children, both single and married, work to support themselves and other family members. Thus, persistent earnings inequality for working women translates into lower pay, less family income, and more children and families in poverty.
The MWC Financial Freedom Committee will focus on actions to close gaps and increase access to income. Examples include pay equity, salary transparency, access to education/training for higher-paying jobs, micro-loans/business incentives for women-owned businesses, and a living wage.