March 8 was International Women's Day, a moment on the calendar dedicated to honoring women's successes, and also their struggles for equality. Nearly a century after American women won the universal right to vote, workplace equality in this country is still inconsistent, and equal pay continues to remain a distant goal.
Since the passage of the Equal Pay Act of 1963, the gap has been closing, albeit slowly. In 1963, women who worked full-time, year-round earned 58.9% of what men did in similar jobs with similar hours. Today, that figure is 77.4%, according to the Census Bureau.
No surprise, pay inequality is unevenly spread across America. In Los Angeles, women make nearly 90% of what men do. In Baton Rouge, the figure is closer to 63%. But don't assume it's a matter of rich areas vs. poor ones: In fact, it often has to do more with what industries dominate a city. Manufacturing, health care, finance and utilities, for example, all pay women significantly less, on average, than they pay men for the same work.
24/7 Wall St. has examined the data and identified the metropolitan areas where the wage gap is the widest. These are the worst-paying cities for women.
To identify the cities that pay women the least, 24/7 Wall St. compared the median incomes for the past 12 months of both men and women who worked full-time, year-round in the country's 100 largest metropolitan statistical areas, based on data collected by the U.S. Census Bureau. Information on the most unequal industries was calculated using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Department of Labor, the Census Bureau, as well as Catalyst, the leading nonprofit organization for expanding women in business, and The Institute for Women's Policy Research.
-- By Ashley C. Allen, Charles B. Stockdale