Report: Women make 77% of what men make for similar work - WKRN News 2

Report: Women make 77% of what men make for similar work

Posted: Updated: Oct 22, 2012 06:14 PM CDT
Lily Ledbetter signs copies of her book "Grace and Grit" at Monday's summit. Lily Ledbetter signs copies of her book "Grace and Grit" at Monday's summit.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -

How are Tennessee women doing with equal pay for the same job as men?

It was one of the underlying themes Monday at the annual summit for the Tennessee Economic Council on Women at Nashville's Airport Marriott Hotel.

In a report using 2010 census data, the group issued a study showing that woman statewide earned about 77 percent as much as men for doing similar work.

That's up 5 percent from group's 2005 report using 2000 census data that showed women statewide earned 72 percent as much as men for similar work.

Breaking it down to Nashville, the figures show that in Music City women earned about 87 percent as much as men for similar jobs.

That's an increase of "about 5 percent" from the 2005 report, according to William Arth, the senior research manager for Tennessee Economic Council on Women who authored this year's gender gap study.

One of the summit's speakers was a woman who took her "gender gap" issue all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court where the justices overturned a lower court ruling in her favor.

Lilly Ledbetter was one of Goodyear Tires' first female managers but discovered after near two decades on the job that she was being paid thousands of dollars less per year than men in her position.

Now, no longer working for Goodyear, she's see's her mission as "helping those who come behind her."

It's the central message she tells young women in her book "Grace and Grit" and at events like the Tennessee Economic Council on Women summit.

Ledbetter said a lot of states and companies have equal pay laws, "but we still have a long way to go."

She advocates "making sure that we elect people that will go to Washington or in the state governments that will watch these types of laws."

Another person at the women's economic conference was Kathleen Walker.

"I am one of the only female pewter-smiths in the country and the only one in the state," she said standing in front of a display for the company she owns in Brownsville, Tennessee called Tennessee Pewter.

"Everybody is equal at my shop, there is no variation, sex doesn't matter because we are all making items," she added when asked about the state gender gap study.

The report also cited DeKalb County in Middle Tennessee as the top county where women's pay matches that of men and Grainger County in east Tennessee at the bottom of the same category.

Using a variety of measurements, Rutherford County was given the No. 1 ranking for places to work for Tennessee women.

View the full report from the Tennessee Economic Council on Women, visit TennesseeWomen.org.

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