Over the last couple of decades, the gender pay gap has been narrowing nationwide. But it still remains a very real problem. A new report from the Wisconsin Policy Forum finds that women make around 85 cents for every dollar that a man makes in Milwaukee County. In Waukesha County, it’s just 76 cents to every dollar made by a man.
"We compared 2010 to 2018, and we saw that the gap narrowed from earning 81% of what men earn to 85% during that period," says Joe Peterangelo, a senior researcher at the Forum and one of the authors of the report.
This disparity has a lot of consequences, and it often stems from a lot of different factors based on our cultural perceptions of gender roles. Betsy Mueller, a Wisconsin Policy Forum researcher and another author on the report, says that while it's difficult to account for every factor that results in this disparity, including these social elements are a necessary part of the conversation.
She explains, "There are studies that try to quantify what percent of the gap is due to which factors, and reasonable people disagree on what those numbers are. But what I think generally is agreed on in the academic research is that it's a very complex issue and there are a lot of factors that go into it, so in creating a solution you have to find solutions that are equally complex."