In 2016, L.A. Women Still Get Shorted When They Get Paid

A Shepard Fairey mural downtown
A Shepard Fairey mural downtown
File photo by bunnicula/Flickr

Perhaps it's not so much a surprise as an embarrassment.

Women in Los Angeles make less than men regardless of their level of education. In fact, the more educated women are, the greater the pay gap.

This is according to a new report, "The State of Women in Los Angeles County 2016," released during the United Way of Greater Los Angeles' inaugural Women's Summit.

"The gap between male and female incomes is $6,000 for those with less than a high school education, but rises to $21,000 for those with a postgraduate degree," a summary of the findings says. "Female heads of families with less than a high school education have a poverty rate of 46 percent, compared to just 10 percent for college graduates."

Those who don't have a high school education can expect below-poverty wages — an average of $15,000 a year, United Way says. Men at that educational level get an average of $21,000 a year.

Women with master's degrees or higher make an average of $64,000 a year; men get an average of $85,000.

That's especially critical here because L.A. women are often household breadwinners. Sixty percent are single, including those who are divorced, separated, widowed or never married, the report found.

Yet only 41 percent of women have full-time jobs. Fifty-eight percent of L.A. men are full-timers, the United Way found.

The county's labor force includes 2.3 million women, the report says; 439,513 own their own businesses, which churn out nearly $65 billion in annual revenues.

Nearly half of Angeleno women (47 percent) are Latina, it says.

"There is strength in numbers, and United Way looks forward to continuing to work with these female leaders to combat the perpetual state of poverty by addressing the factors that impact it most — housing, education and jobs,'' said local United Way CEO Elise Buik.

-With reporting from City News Service 


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