Recently I came across an interesting map showing how much women earn for every dollar a man earns. The highlights:
In Utah, the average woman earns 55 cents for every dollar the average man earns.
At best, women earn 3/4 of what men earn.
There are lots of theories as to why women earn so much less than men. Some people say it's because women gravitate toward fields that tend to pay less. But even if you take this into account, women still earn less than men in the exact same job.
The difference does seem to be related to having kids. Apparently, men with children earn about 2% more on average than men without children, whereas women with children earn about 2.5% less than women without children. Women are also more likely to leave the work force for longer periods of time, which further suppresses their earnings.
As a working mom, I really get this. How could I ask for more money when I just took a 12 week maternity leave? How could I ask for more money when I just had to take sick days for a GI bug I caught from my kids? How could I ask for more money when that might make me feel obligated to take on more responsibilities, which I just can't handle right now?
I don't know what the solution is, but I'm sure I'm not the only woman who feels this way. There are probably enough of us to fill at least several binders.