Women in Southeast Minnesota Earn Less Money than Men

Posted at: 10/27/2012 11:42 PM
By: Katie Eldred

(ABC 6 News) -- A new report shows that women are earning only 82 percent of what men are making. Even when they have the same degree. At the Women's Fall Expo Saturday many woman said they were not shocked by these numbers.

"I was definitely disappointed to hear those facts," said Cindy Benike.

Even after all the progress women have made in the workplace, new numbers show more is needed.

"It's unfortunate," said Judy Ohly.

Ohly says there used to be a large gender gap in the office.

"I was in banking for 7 years and if you took a look around at who was in leadership positions it was always men who got the promotions," said Ohly.

According to a report by the American Association of University Women nearly every occupation has long paid men more than women. In a new survey of recent college grads women were making only 82 percent of what their male colleagues were. In a Minnesota report women in southeast Minnesota fared a little better making 88 percent of what their male counterparts made. Even as more women are graduating college at higher rates than men.

Jeff Mohlke of Minnesota School of Business Rochester says the majority of their students are women, and more and more of them are entering diverse fields

"Massage therapy, vet technology, medical assistant, you know we do see a high percentage of women in those programs, but also business and IT," said Mohlke.

Ohly feels more women in leadership roles would help solve the gender gap.

"We've got a long way to go, I think we need more women in leadership, at every level," said Ohly.

"Women in leadership is important because it sets an example for young women to see that they can do whatever they choose in life," said LuAnn Buechler.

A business woman, Buechler, hopes women will reach out to each other.

"Support each other whether it's an entrepreneurs group or there's an American Business Association," said Buechler.

When it comes to getting paid for their work…

"I hope that we are making progress in that area and that women will eventually be equal in the workplace," said Benike.

In Olmsted County ten percent of women are working in health care.  According to The Status of Women and Girls in Minnesota research report , in the high paying health care fields those women are only making 57 percent of what the men do in the same field.