Leaders take on pay gap

State Rep. Cory Atkins, a democrat from Concord, speaks about equal pay at the State House yesterday.

As the Bay State continues to lag behind the national average for equal women’s earnings, a group of female state legislators is pressing a bill concerning equalizing pay for women in comparable jobs as men.

“I don’t think that there is any single issue more important to women than this because this is where the rubber hits the road … in terms of women being equal to men,” said state Rep. Cory Atkins.

Atkins spoke during an Equal Pay Day event at the State House yesterday. Equal Pay Day is a national day organized by the National Committee on Pay Equity to bring attention to the wage gap between men and women.

Women in Massachusetts earn about 80 percent of what their male counterparts make, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The national average is about 81 percent.

The gap in Massachusetts is unique, said Victoria Budson, the founding executive director of the Women and Public Policy Program at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, due to the state’s unique education levels.

“There’s no other state where women are as educated as in Massachusetts,” she said.

Jacqueline Cooke of the Women’s Bureau at the U.S. Department of Labor said the agency is trying to push young women to take or look for jobs in nontraditional fields such as science, math or green technology. “One reason women are paid less is that they work in jobs that are traditionally considered women’s jobs,” Cooke said.

While progress has been made to balance the pay between men and women doing the exact same job, work still needs to be done on pay equity for comparable jobs, legislators said.

A bill meant to define comparable work for employers is headed to the state Senate Ways and Means Committee.

“It’s a very minor step, but it’s a step toward achieving equality,” said state Sen. Patricia Jehlen of Somerville.

Equal Pay Day next week

While women legislators held an Equal Pay Day event at the State House yesterday, the national Equal Pay Day is slated for Tuesday.
   
The date of the event, April 17, symbolizes how far into 2012 women must work to earn what men earned in 2011, according to the National Committee on Pay Equity.
   
Because women earn less, on average, than men, they must work longer for the same amount of pay. The wage gap is even greater for most minority women, according to the committee.
  


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
News

Mets mascot Mr. Met target of Bill Clinton…

Mets mascot Mr. Met has told how he ended up in the crosshairs of a Secret Service sniper rifle. The man behind the Mr. Met…

International

Jews in eastern Ukraine ordered to register, Kerry…

Secretary of State John Kerry condemned reports that Jews in eastern Ukraine had been ordered to register with the authorities "or suffer the consequences."

National

Chelsea Clinton pregnant with first child

Chelsea Clinton is pregnant with her first child.

National

Divers struggle in search for South Korean ferry…

By Jungmin Jang and Narae KimMOKPO/JINDO, South Korea (Reuters) - Rescuers struggled with strong waves and murky waters on Thursday as they searched for hundreds…

Television

Dick Wolf to bring fictionalized world of 'Law…

A&E has ordered a pilot called "D.O.A." from "Law and Order" mastermind Dick Wolf that will focus on real detectives reexamining cold cases. A trio…

Movies

Review: 'Transcendence' is not stupid but sometimes lacks…

The cyberthriller "Transcendence" explores artificial intelligence, nanotechnology and other ethical quandaries, but has too much ambition, if anything.

Television

Shane West talks WGN America's 'Salem'

The actor on history lessons, a new network and showing his butt.

Music

Both feet on the ground with Aimee Mann…

What began with a cool double-bill of Ted Leo opening for Aimee Mann morphed into a full-fledged collaborative project that they're calling The Both. “There…

MLB

MLB video highlights: Red Sox score two in…

Lester shines in Red Sox win over White Sox

Sports

2014 Boston Marathon preview: Elite American, International runners…

2014 Boston Marathon: Elite American, International runners to watch

NBA

2014 NBA Finals odds: Ranking which playoff teams…

2014 NBA Finals odds: Ranking which playoff teams have the best shot at a championship. The Thunder, Clippers, Heat and Rockets lead the way.

NFL

2014 Patriots, full NFL schedule release date announced

2014 Patriots, full NFL schedule release date announced

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.

Travel

Earth Day travel in the Florida Keys

See why this eco-friendly destination deserves your attention.

Tech

Sorry, Facebook — FarmVille goes mobile with 'Country…

Zynga has released a version of the hit "FarmVille" tailored for smartphones and tablets in the hope of reaping a bumper crop of players.