The pay gap between men and women in Delaware is one of the smallest in the nation. But it still accounts for billions of dollars of lost earning power every year.
On average, women in Delaware earn 89 cents for every dollar a man makes.
11 cents is the country's lowest pay gap per state (Delaware is tied with New York for lowest pay gap) but these lost earnings add up over a year, according to Sarah Fleish Fink of the National Partnership for Women and Families.
“If the annual wage gap were eliminated the average working woman in Delaware would be able to afford more than eight more months of child care or approximately 46 more weeks of food for her family, which is nearly a year’s worth of food,” she said.
Women in Delaware are losing $6,000 a year. Statewide, that adds up to $2 billion a year in lost wages.
And this loss of spending power has a broad impact since women are the breadwinners for half the families in America with children under the age of 18. Women are the breadwinners in 81 percent of African American families.
The gender pay gap exists regardless of a woman’s occupation, industry or education level, according to national data. Although these factors definitely play a role.
Fleish Fink said Delaware’s relatively low wage gap could be attributed to the types of industries in the state and the experience of the women in the work force.
She added discrimination and unconscious bias are most likely the cause of the remaining wage gap.
Women in Wyoming have the largest pay gap, earning 64 cents for every dollar a man earns.
Latina women are the ethnic group most affected, earning 54 cents on the dollar.