Gender studies

Women get paid less than men virtually everywhere, but the gap is smaller in North Carolina. Full-time female workers here make an average of $34,421 a year, $7,438 less than men. That disparity — 82 cents for every dollar earned by a man — is 11th slimmest in the U.S., according to Census data compiled by the National Partnership for Women & Families. “Any gap is too big a gap,” says Vicki Shabo, vice president of the Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit. “But North Carolina is better than other places.”

 The state’s women also are more entrepreneurial than the national average, with the number of female-owned businesses increasing 91% to 267,800 since 1997, the third-highest rate among states, according to a March report by New York-based American Express Co. Those businesses only ranked 41st in revenue growth and employ 268,300 — about one worker per company — reflecting how startups typically begin with low sales and few employees, says Julie Weeks, president and CEO of the Michigan research company that produced the report. North Carolina was 17th in total performance — an average of business, revenue and employee growth — of women-owned businesses from 1997 to 2014.  

 North Carolina has a higher share of women in white-collar jobs, where pay scales are typically more in line with men than in other occupations, Shabo says. Still, American women have a long climb ahead of them. In 1963, they made 59 cents on the dollar, compared with men. That’s risen to 77 cents, but research indicates they won’t pull even until 2058.

 

 

Women-owned companies in North Carolina