The Senate on Tuesday debated a bill that would ensure women receive equal pay for equal work. Nationwide, women earn approximately 77 cents for every dollar a man earns. In Vermont, women make 85 percent of what Vermont men make. No state does better, according to the American Association of University Women.
“We are proud that Vermont is No. 1 among the states, but we can do better in Vermont and we certainly can do better as a nation,” Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said in a joint statement.
“Pay equity should not be a partisan issue but instead an American issue of basic fairness. We are very proud that Vermont is a leader in this fight but more must be done to balance the pay between men and women.”
The only place where the gap is less than in Vermont is Washington D.C., where women make 90 percent of what men make.
Nationwide, the pay gap exists by every level of education and at every stage of a career. Women are going to college in greater numbers than men, but the gap exists at graduation. In fact, women with a college or graduate degree face a greater wage gap than women without such a degree, according to a report from the Center for Economic and Policy Research.
The American Association of University Women found that the income gap between men and women grows significantly 10 years after graduation, and even more in subsequent years. It is estimated a college-educated woman will make $1.2 million less than a college-educated male over her lifetime.