April is Wyoming Equal Pay Month

Courtesy photo Members of the Wyoming Women’s Foundation and other organizations pose with Gov. Mark Gordon following his proclamation of April 2023 as ‘Wyoming Equal Pay Month.’

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The Wyoming Women’s Foundation (WYWF) is proud to partner with the Wyoming Council for Women (WCW) and the Equality State Policy Center (ESPC) in announcing that Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon proclaimed April 2023 “Wyoming Equal Pay Month.” Signed on Wednesday, April 12, the proclamation recognizes the additional time women in Wyoming must work in order to earn the same amount that men in Wyoming earned in the previous year.

Gov. Mark Gordon was joined in the Governor’s Ceremonial Conference Room by equal pay advocates representing WYWF, WCW, Wyoming Community Foundation (WYCF), League of Women Voters of Wyoming and Department of Workforce Services (DWS). Before signing, members of the audience and Gov. Gordon spoke about the value of women’s participation in the workforce, the importance of self-sufficient wages and how the state can benefit as a whole. 

“Women contribute greatly to every industry and community in Wyoming, but their wages aren’t reflecting that,” said Kari Eakins, administrator for policy, research and communications at the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services. “We’re so grateful for the movement that’s been happening and for the support of the Governor’s Office.”

While men’s wages in Wyoming are the 12th highest in the nation, women’s wages are only 42nd. According to 5-year American Community Survey microdata, women in Wyoming earn $0.75 to every dollar earned by men, generating a $0.25 wage gap. This equates to the average working woman in Wyoming losing enough money during a year to buy a total of 108 more weeks of food, 12 more months of mortgage and utilities payments, 21 more months of rent or 8,402 additional gallons of gas.

“This isn’t a women’s issue; it impacts the entire state. The wage gap causes an estimated loss of $1.5 billion to the Wyoming economy. Equal pay would benefit everyone and help the state we all love,” said WYWF Communications & Event Coordinator Alex Shannon.

“Wyoming-specific strategies to address wage inequality have been identified,” said WYWF Director, Rebekah Hazelton, while holding up the recently released report The Wage Gap in Wyoming in 2022: How Gender, Race and Ethnicity Affect Pay Equity. “We hope to soon see policies adopted that move us closer to closing the gender wage gap.”

The Wage Gap in Wyoming in 2022: How Gender, Race and Ethnicity Affect Pay Equity was authored by University of Wyoming researchers Chian Jones Ritten, PhD, Department of Agriculture and Applied Sciences, and Anne Alexander, PhD, Department of Economics, with data prepared by the Wyoming Survey Analysis Center (WYSAC). The report was funded by the WYWF, WCW and ESPC.

WYWF, WCW and ESPC express their appreciation for the support shown by Gov. Gordon and his administration.

For more information about the Wyoming Wage Gap and to download the report, please visit wywf.org.