April 17th marks Equal Pay Day. It symbolizes the 23 percent pay gap between men and women in the United States. Women must work from January 1st last year to April 17th this year to match what men earned in 2011 alone. Women in Idaho would have to work even longer, as the state ranks 43rd in the nation for this type of wage disparity.
In 2010, the median salary for an Idaho man was more than $41,000 a year. The median salary for an Idaho woman was nearly $11,000 less, according to the American Association of University Women. Lisa Maatz directs public policy and government relations for the non-profit. She hopes to work with Idahoans to help fill this gap though legislation or an executive order. "That would say pretty much that to do business with the state of Idaho, you would need to make sure that you’re following equal pay laws," Maatz says.
Maatz plans to visit Idaho this summer to work on this effort. Legislation on paycheck fairness in Congress failed two years ago. Both U.S. Senators from Idaho voted against the measure.
Copyright 2012 Boise State Public Radio.