Male-Female pay disparity still a problem - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Male-Female pay disparity still a problem

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The idea that working women can't earn as much as their male counterparts seems hopelessly antiquated. 

But a new study shows that the male-female pay gap is still wide - that, in fact, gender-based wage disparity has barely improved at all in a decade.

Women still made just 76 cents for every dollar men did last year, a fact that troubles human resources consultant Robyn Crigger. "It's an ongoing problem," she says.

And frustrated female clients have been calling her firm, Compass Career Management, looking for ways to deal with it.

"More women are contacting me saying I need to move on," she says.

Crigger has a warning for companies.

"If these employers don't offer some good support to women," she says, "they are going to lose them."

But some economists say the blame actually falls on women, because females don't negotiate their pay as much as males do.

Mona Johnson-Gibson, a local non-profit executive, doesn't find that too hard to believe.

"As women, probably as southern women, we're just not taught or think that we can ask for what we would like," Gibson says. "Whether it's a different title, a different salary - different benefits. All sorts of things that you can negotiate and it's ok to ask."

Polls also show women work fewer hours than men due to childcare, but Julie Haack, president of Donald Haack Diamonds, says that shouldn't necessarily affect a woman's salary.

"When I work four days a week instead of five days a week, I'm doing exactly the same amount of work in that fifth day, only I just happen to work at it harder," Haack says.

She says it's naïve to deny that discrimination plays a part.

"Even though we've evolved into more women in the workplace, I think we still have a place, so to speak, and so we're just going to have to keep proving that wrong," Haack says. "And asking for the raises."

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