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Women in NWI only earn an average of 66.9 percent of what men do, study finds

The Indiana State Capitol in Indianapolis. Indiana has the 49th worst gender pay gap in the country last year.

A new study found Indiana has the third worst gender pay gap in the country, and Northwest Indiana has the starkest income inequality between men and women in the state — a 33.1 percent difference.

A study by the American Association of University Women used recently released U.S. Census Bureau data to determine women nationwide make only about 80 percent on average what men do. The study found men working full-time year-round made $52,146, while women with the same employment status made only an average of $41,977 — a gap of 20 percent.

"The gender pay gap remains stuck at 20 cents on the dollar, reminding us once again that we need to accelerate our efforts to eliminate this inequity once and for all," AUW CEO Kimberly Churches said. "Women face a pay gap from the minute they enter the workforce, and that gap grows exponentially throughout their careers. It exists in nearly every profession, for hourly and salaried employees, and in every region of the country."

The gender pay gap has decreased by only a nickel over the last two decades, Churches said.

"Unless we change course, the gap between men and women’s earnings will not close until 2106," she said. "But working together, we’re confident that we can achieve pay equity by 2030."

In Indiana, there's a 27 percent pay gap between the genders, the study found. Women who work full-time year-round only make an average of 73 percent of what men with the same employment status do, ranking Indiana 49th out of the 50 states and the District of Columbia.

The previous year, Indiana had the sixth worst pay gap nationally, according to U.S. Census data.

The pay gap in Northwest Indiana was even more pronounced, likely because of the Region's heavy reliance on the manufacturing, construction and logistics industries that historically have been dominated by men. 

In the 1st Congressional District, which covers most of Northwest Indiana, women earn an average of $38,709 a year, as compared to $57,868 a year for men. Women bring in 66.9 percent of what male workers do, last out of Indiana's nine Congressional districts.

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Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.