- April 11, 2016
- Oregon Center for Public Policy
- Staff Report
Like the rest of the nation, Oregon has a gender pay gap: the typical woman in Oregon earns about 82 cents for every dollar that a man earns. The causes for why the typical woman earns less are complex. To some extent, the gap reflects the fact that she still serves as the family’s principal caretaker — the vital work of raising kids, caring for an elderly parent or caring for a family member who has fallen ill. Those duties take her out of the workforce. The gap also reflects, in part, that employers have not valued the labor of women as highly as the labor of men. Indeed, it too reflects the persistence of gender discrimination.
There are steps that Oregon policymakers can take to even the playing field. These include investing in affordable, quality child care to expand access; requiring paid family leave for all workers; strengthening fair pay standards; and ensuring that workers can count on predictable work schedules. By helping eliminate the gender pay gap, lawmakers can increase the economic security of Oregon families and advance gender equity.