The Sexist

Washington D.C. Wins the Pay Gap

According to the New York Times, the District of Columbia has the lowest pay gap between male and female workers in the country, compared to the 50 states. From NYT: "in the District of Columbia, the median weekly wage of full-time women workers is 96.5 percent of that for their male counterparts, far and away the most parity in the country." The U.S. average is 80.2 percent; Louisiana women are trailing the rest of the country, making only 65 percent of men's wages. Some other local stats: Virginia women make 80.4 percent of what Virginia men do; Maryland women make 87.3 percent. Of course, in this contest, we're a tiny urban area competing with states filled with urban, suburban, and rural areas—so this is likely more a triumph for cities than it is for the District.

Photo via George Eastman House

  • David Alpert

    Is this because the federal government, with its strict rules on pay, is more equitable than private employers?

  • Conrad Davis

    Interesting. Why?

    Are Washington DC women more likely to be employed by a government agency where their pay and advancement are based on rubrics and transparent decisions?

  • RMJ

    Ooo, thanks for this. It's good to have stats on hand when arguing for the billionth time about institutionalized sexism.

  • Kit-Kat

    I think that the fact that a larger proportion of the population works for a government agency, with its standardized pay grades, might account for at least some of the wage equality.

  • Ice_Queen

    Agree with @Kit-Kat while the pay gap tends to be pervasive across all industries, the size of the gap varies greatly from industry to industry.

  • WER

    wish data was collected about pay discrepancies for trans people v. cis people

  • Mrs. D

    I wouldn't be so sure about government agencies vs. private industry. There are a myriad of ways for even government managers to discriminate against their female subordinates (not assigning them cases/assignments that would advance their career, giving them not-as-good performance reviews either independently or because they didn't give them the important assignments so they "haven't proven themselves," holding them to a higher standard). That said, government agencies are a *little* more forgiving, but, more importantly, dc is full of educated, confident women who believe they deserve to be treated equally, at least in my extensive social experience.

  • buttercup

    Did the study look at where jobs are located or where people live? I'm living in 80% and working in 96.5%. I think a lot of the difference has to do with the concentration of professional jobs in DC - lawyer, lobbyist, government.

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