The wage gap between Iowa’s men and women, especially women of color, has far-reaching consequences: More than 110,000 households in Iowa are headed by women, according to the Washington, D.C.-based Partnership for Women and Families. Seventy-one percent of Iowa women are the sole, co- or primary breadwinners, according to Democratic state Rep. Abby Finkenauer of Dubuque. But her most dramatic illustration of the impact of pay differentials, as shared on the House floor last week, is that the average white man in our state could retire 33 years earlier than the average Latina woman.
How long have we been talking about the wage gap? Long enough that it’s time for the state to start tracking and punishing overt discrimination. That is, cases in which women and men hold the same jobs and have equal work experience and education, but earn different salaries.