Study finds Missouri behind national average in women\'s salary

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COLUMBIA — For many salary paid women in Missouri, their work costs employers less than male counterparts. A new study released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics found that during 2015 women working in Missouri made about $200 less than men completing the same work.

"Quite frankly, if our job descriptions are the same and the only difference is our gender, then it like many of our policies is reflective of days gone by and we need to catch up and recognize that we need to be earning equal wages for equal jobs," said Sylvia Donnelly, a local business woman.

The study also found Missouri is behind the national average when it comes to paying women. In 2015, women earned $726 per week of median salary compared to $895 for men.

Allison Sousan, a student at the University of Missouri, said being paid equally is an important factor in job hunting.

“As a student coming out of college, I would take any opportunity to get better pay even if it was somewhere else. I would definitely be willing to make that move,” Sousan said.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, women's to men's earnings in Missouri decreased from 77.9 percent in 2014 to 77.3 percent in 2015. That percentage reached its height in Missouri in 1998 when it reached 80.8 percent.

"For me, it’s an issue because there are a lot of women out there who do just as great of work as men do, and it scares me going into an interview knowing that I can get turned down because I am a woman or get paid less for doing equal or great work than someone else does,” Sousan said.

Donnelly said having good communication in the workplace has been helpful in her business.

"I think communication is key to having healthy places of work, and I believe deeply in people making the time to hear from their team member that they are either working with or working for. I think women should lean in and not be afraid to voice their opinion," Donnelly said.

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