South Dakota women struggle for pay equality

RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN TV) - An updated study on the gender wage gap was recently conducted by the American Association of University Women.

The study found that 20 percent is now the wage difference between women working full time as compared to men working full time in the United States.

In South Dakota, that difference is 22 percent, putting the state 34th on the equality pay scale.

The process to close that gap may take longer than some originally thought, according to Anne Hedgepeth, vice president of Public Policy and Government Relations.

“We also know that there is a slow process in closing the pay gap. It could take another century before we can see real pay equity. And that I think is a disappointment for women and their families and for the economy as a whole,” said Hedgepeth.

Different ideas have been discussed as to how to shorten the gap. They believe talking in the workplace is a start.

“We take this all on a few fronts. We know that folks can focus in their workplaces and learn skills like how to negotiate for their salaries. But, ultimately you can’t negotiate around discrimination,” said Hedgepeth.

With the rate of change that has happened between 1960 and 2015, women are expected to get equal pay with men by 2059.