Gender wage gap in Washington is among widest in nation, analysis shows • Oregon Capital Chronicle:

The gender wage gap for women in Washington was one of the worst in the nation in recent years.

That’s according to an analysis released this month by the nonprofit National Partnership for Women and Families. The figures show median pay for women in Washington for 2022 was $18,400 less than what men earned that year. Looking nationwide, the figures show this wage shortfall for Washington women was second only to Utah, where the gap was $20,649.

In California, women earned $11,685 less, in Oregon $12,245, and in Idaho, $14,905, according to the analysis, which relied on U.S. Census Bureau data.

The pay difference between women and men in Washington was even wider when accounting for race and ethnicity. For example, Black women typically earned $28,405 less than white, non-Hispanic men. Latina women were paid $35,402 less.

“It’s really shocking how bad it is here,” said Grace Yoo, executive director of the Washington State Women’s Commission and Gov. Jay Inslee’s lead cabinet director on women’s policy.

Yoo offered a theory for what’s going on: Some of Washington’s biggest industries and some of the state’s best-paying jobs, involve career fields where women tend to be underrepresented – such as tech, aerospace, and the construction trades.

Yoo is at least partially correct here: Employment choices make a huge difference. In fact, if you adjust for employment choices (which could be which field a person is in or taking time away from a career to have/raise a family, the so-called gender wage gap virtually disappears. Why, in fact, do you suppose Utah is the state with the biggest difference in median income? Could it be that many LDS women prioritize family over career? 

Given that labor costs are among the highest expenses most employers face, if the wage gap were really pronounced as the is being contended, why wouldn’t every company exclusively hire women? Think of the money they’d save! 

Further, these statistics are just median pay which is not a great statistic in proving gender bias or discrimination or whatever is being alluded to here. If Bill Gates makes $20 billion this year (or more), the men’s pay sudden skews much higher because it moves the median dramatically. To prove gender discrimination, you need to show that similarly experienced and educated men and women are doing the same work and men are being paid more. And this needs to happy in non-entertainment fields because in entertainment fields (which includes sports), pay is ultimately derived from popularity. 

Good luck with that.