Missouri ranks 30th nationally in gender pay equity; Illinois is 28th

AAUW launches new initiative, calls for legislative action to close the gap

Washington – According to a new report by the American Association of University Women (AAUW), women working full-time, year-round in Missouri currently make 78 cents on the dollar compared to men – a pay gap of 22 percent, placing them 30th out of all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Women in Illinois are paid 79 cents for every dollar paid to men, ranking 28th.

Nationally, the pay is an average of 80 cents on the dollar for women who work full-time, year-round compared to men, and has only closed by seven cents in the past 20 years. The inequities are even greater among Latinas (54 cents) and black women (63 cents). The pay gap also exists in every state.


AAUW is calling for every state to adopt comprehensive equal pay laws to close the wage gap by 2030. Forty-eight states and the District of Columbia (all except Alabama and Mississippi) have some form of an equal pay law, but they differ significantly in scope and strength.

“Women all over the country are sick of unequal pay,” said Kim Churches, chief executive officer at AAUW. “That’s why we’re issuing an expiration date on pay inequity. We’re aiming to eliminate the gap by 2030. It’s ambitious, but achievable, if we all take the right actions.”


In addition to state action, AAUW is calling for:

• The federal government to reinstate the EEOC’s wage data collection, which was halted last year. Collecting wage data is critical to identify and address gender and racial pay gaps in workplaces.

• Congress to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act to update and close loopholes in in the Equal Pay Act of 1963, as well as to pass other pieces of federal legislation that provide additional tools to close the wage gap.

• Employers to commit to and implement fair pay best practices, such as conducting regular compensation analyses to ensure equal pay levels and internal equity, setting and publicizing pay ranges for positions, prohibiting the practice of asking job candidates for salary histories, which perpetuates a cycle of lower pay for women, adopting non-retaliation policies for discussing salary, and promoting more women into leadership roles.


AAUW has committed to train 10 million women in salary negotiations programs by 2022, provide them with the skills needed to effectively understand their market worth –  based on skills, experience and accomplishments – and the tools and confidence to negotiate for it.  

The organization has also launched an e-learning interactive experience called It’s Negotiable: Salary Skill Builder, focusing on helping individuals learn to identify and articulate personal value as one key aspect of negotiations.


For more information about AAUW’s salary negotiation workshops, the gender pay gap and/or pay equity laws, visit aauw.org.

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