Special Report

The Best (and Worst) Paying Cities for Women

The Worst Paying Cities for Women

10. Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC
> Women’s pay as a pct. of men’s:
> Median earnings for men: $49,726
> Median earnings for women: $36,386

The median earnings of women working in the Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News metro area were $36,386 in 2013, 73.2% of the earnings of men working in the area, the 10th worst gender pay gap among large metro areas. By contrast, women across the country earned 78.8% of what men earned. The area’s women were slightly more likely than the men to have at least a bachelor’s degree, although this was clearly not an advantage. The severity of the area’s pay gap varied widely by occupation. Women working in the installation, maintenance, and repair occupations had earnings on par with their male peers. On the other hand, in the legal professions and architecture and engineering positions women earned 44.4% and 59.1% of the male earnings, respectively. These pay gaps were the widest compared to other occupations in the area, and were also among the worst versus comparable figures in other metro areas.

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9. Colorado Springs, CO
> Women’s pay as a pct. of men’s:
> Median earnings for men: $50,614
> Median earnings for women: $36,800

Women in Colorado Springs held 72.3% of education positions, and yet, their earnings equalled just 70.1% of the comparable male earnings in the field. Female health practitioners in the area were paid even more unfairly. The median earnings of men working in the profession were $130,659 in 2013, well more than double the comparable figure for women. The 43.8% wage gap in the field was nearly the worst among the 100 largest metro areas. Worse yet, the median earnings of women working in science occupations were less than 42% of their male peers’ earnings. This was nearly the worst such occupational pay gap among large metro areas, despite the fact that more than two-thirds of the area science positions were held by women.

8. Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT
> Women’s pay as a pct. of men’s:
> Median earnings for men: $72,097
> Median earnings for women: $51,837

While the median earnings of women in Bridgeport were equal to less than 72% of the median for men, they were still relatively well-off financially. The median earnings of women were $51,837 in 2013, considerably higher than the median for all Americans of $42,498. Still, the pay gap in several occupations was especially wide in Bridgeport. Women working in management positions, for example, earned 53.1% of what their male peers earned, nearly the widest gap among large metros. No large metro area had a worse pay gap among business and financial sector occupations, in which Bridgeport women earned less than 58% of what men made in the profession. Men and women in the area both had exceptionally high college attainment rates, at 46.3% and 44.7%, respectively. As Hegewisch explained, pay discrepancies are often higher among highly educated populations.

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