Special Report

The Worst-Paying Cities for Women

10. Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, Wash.
> Women’s pay as pct. of men’s: 73.1%
> Median income for men: $61,412
> Median income for women: $44,879

Seattle is one of the West Coast’s biggest tech hubs, with companies such as Microsoft and Amazon.com among its top employers. Few major metropolitan areas have a larger proportion of workers in tech jobs than Seattle. In those sectors, pay for women was closer to that of men than most, with the median income for women 86.6% of men’s income. Still, the difference is not unsubstantial, with men earning $12,644 more than their female counterparts. In other sectors, the disparity was worse. For example, in management positions, median earnings for men exceeded the median earnings for women by more than $26,000.

Also Read: America’s Happiest (and Most Miserable) States

9. Tulsa, Okla.
> Women’s pay as pct. of men’s: 72.9%
> Median income for men: $45,312
> Median income for women: $33,048

As a state, Oklahoma’s gender pay gap was wide. And in the state’s second-largest metropolitan area, Tulsa, the gender pay gap was even worse. Barely 5% of Tulsa’s 10,000 transportation workers were women. For those women, the median pay was just 56% of the men’s pay. Nearly 10% of the region’s full-time workers were in sales positions, with women accounting for 40% of those jobs. In 2011, men in sales positions earned a median of $22,155 more than their female counterparts, more than $5,000 greater than the national gap for such jobs.

8. Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, Conn.
> Women’s pay as pct. of men’s: 72.1%
> Median income for men: $72,202
> Median income for women: $52,063

The median income for women in Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk area was more than $20,000 less than the median income of men in 2011. Western Connecticut employs many people in financial services. In Stamford, both UBS and RBS banks employ thousands of people, and countless hedge funds are also situated in the region. Yet there was a profound gap in pay equity between men and women in business and financial operations, with women earning a median of just 54.8% of the men’s pay. In some fields, however, there was no apparent pay gap. In architecture and engineering occupations, women working full time earned a median of $85,227, actually slightly larger than the median pay for men.

7. Wichita, Kan.
> Women’s pay as pct. of men’s: 71.9%
> Median income for men: $47,031
> Median income for women: $33,831

Known as the Air Capital of the World, Wichita’s economy is based on aircraft manufacturers. Companies such as Cessna, Bombardier and Hawker Beechcraft have a large presence in the region and between them employ tens of thousands of workers. Nearly 10% of the metro area’s economy is based on aircraft manufacturing and other types of production, with women accounting for 21.5% of those jobs. In 2011, women in manufacturing and production jobs earned a median of $28,471, while men earned a median of $46,804.

6. Colorado Springs, Colo.
> Women’s pay as pct. of men’s: 70.5%
> Median income for men: $50,908
> Median income for women: $35,907

The median earnings of women in Colorado Springs was about $35,900 in 2011, some $15,000 lower than the median income of men. The two largest private employers in the Colorado Springs area as of the summer of 2011 were Memorial Health System and Penrose-St. Francis Health Services. While these employers provide work to many in the community, the pay gap in health services between men and women is significant. Women working in health diagnosing and as treating practitioners made just slightly more than half that of men in 2011, despite the fact that the sector is comprised of nearly 70% women. For health technologists and technicians, the gap was even more significant, with women earnings less than 35% of the pay that men earned.

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