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Women in the workplace: Rosie the Riveter is spinning in her grave

During World War II, Rosie the Riveter became the symbol of women at work, women doing men's work for the good of society. Things changed after the war, and women have been playing catch-up ever since -- especially when it comes to wages.

Under both federal and Wisconsin state law, men and women must be given equal pay for equal work. However, the daily reality for millions of working women is unfortunately a far cry from this ideal aspiration. Statistics verify that women in the U.S. continue to earn significantly less than their male co-workers, even when they are performing the same work side by side.

A recently research study conducted by the American Association of University Women reveals that the scope of the income disparity between male and female coworkers varies greatly by location. A comparison of various U.S. jurisdictions indicated that in the best instances, female workers were earning a still unacceptable 91 percent of men's average wages ($56,127 for women versus $61,381 for men). Wisconsin was not among the best.

Neither, however, were we among the worst. In the worst case, women earned an incredibly low 64 percent of the average earnings of their male counterparts, having to survive and in many instances attempt to raise a family on a mere $32,426, a fraction of male worker's average $50,854 paycheck in that state.

No, we were right in the middle, ranked 25th, with women earning about 78 percent of what men earn. There are a number of possible explanations. We'll continue this in our next post.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Equal Pay Day: AAUW Releases State By State Gender Wage Gap Rankings," Emma Gray, April 17, 2012

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