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Pay Gap For California Women Is $37 Billion Annually

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Aired 4/13/11

A recent study shows that on average California working women make $8,300 less per year than men. This costs California women about $37 billion annually. The good news: The wage gap in California is slowly narrowing and is smaller than the national average.

A recent study shows that on average California working women make $8,300 less per year than men. This costs California women about $37 billion annually. The good news: The wage gap in California is slowly narrowing and is smaller than the national average.

The research was conducted by the National Partnership for Women & Families, in conjunction with the American Association of University Women.

Doreen Mattingly is a women-studies professor at San Diego State University. She says she has seen many San Diego women struggle.

Mattingly said the Paycheck Fairness Act, which passed in the U.S. House but fell short in the Senate, would go far in closing the wage gap between men and women.

"This is to try to make jobs that guarantee equal pay and anti discrimination and employment, to make them stronger.," Mattingly said. "Right now (equal-pay rules) exist but they are very weak and they are only enforced throughout the courts and so it is actually hard to get justice."

If passed, the National Fairness Act would require employers to explain pay differences between male and female employees as well as offer women training in how to negotiate employment contracts. In a nationwide poll of registered voters, 84 percent said they would support such a law.

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