Audi Ad Sparks Gender Pay Equality Discussion in Utah

Utah falls short when it comes to equal pay for women

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 Utah) - Super Bowl ads normally avoid politics, but not this year. Messages about America, inclusiveness and equality dominated Super Bowl 51. 
One of the most talked about ads was Audi's commercial which focused on the luxury car company's commitment to equal pay for women-- an issue where Utah falls short.
According to Carrie Mayne, Chief Economist, Department of Workforce Services, the national average for the pay gap is 79 percent. That means for ever dollar a man earns, a woman earns 79 cents. In Utah, that number is 71 cents on the dollar.
"That tends to be where we've been over time, but we are trending the same way the nation is in that the gap is slowly closing." 
Many factors weigh into the gender gap-- one being occupational choice.
"We have some occupations where they're highly concentrated with women versus men and they tend to be some of those lower paying jobs," explained Mayne.
Utah has a higher birth rate than other states. Mayne told Good4Utah's Brittany Johnson, that means, many women leave the workforce and restart years later.
"If you leave the workforce you are stopping that gain of experience, and so when you return you may be a little bit behind in the new technology or maybe have just missed that time period of gaining more higher increases in your wages."
Mayne said a good thing for women to do that have to leave the workforce is to network, so when you re-enter the job market you're not far behind. 
According to a report from 'Voices for Utah Children,' the national wage gap between men and women is on track to closed by 2047, but in Utah not until 2087. 

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