Wage gap persists: Ohio women make 77 cents on the dollar compared to men

MACEDONIA, OH (WOIO) - Women working full time in Ohio make 77 cents on the dollar compared to men, putting Ohio at number 38 out of 50 states and Washington D.C.

Local Girl Scouts have been building leaders for years, trying to be part of the solution.

Cleveland19 spoke to local Girl Scouts about their hopes for the future and how their time as scouts have prepared them for their next steps.

They're shocked the pay gap still exists, but they're hopeful it will end sometime soon.

"Once a Girl Scout always a Girl Scout, so the friends you make you'll always have," said Olivia Johnson.

16-year-old Olivia Johnson and 18-year-old Megan Garvey will walk into an uneven workforce in a few years when it comes to what they're paid.

On average nationwide, women make 80 cents on the dollar compared to men.

"It's shocking. The difference is so drastic, it's amazing to see that's still around and we're fighting it, but I believe sometime it will get changed," Johnson said.

"It's hard to think it still exists growing up in the 21st century, with all of the advances, that's not one of them," Garvey said.

Garvey plans to go into a male-dominated career field.

She says her time as a Girl Scout has prepared her for that.

"It's helped me to become a better leader, a stronger leader, helped me find my passion for engineering and science. It's shown me the world," she said.

Jane Christyson is the CEO of Girl Scouts of Northeast Ohio, based in Macedonia.

"Girls learn a lot more than cookies, crafts and camping in Girl Scouts, which is sometimes the only think people think about," Christyson said.

She says the need for female leadership has never been more urgent, and it's an uphill battle.

"Even though they earn 60 percent of undergraduate degrees and graduate degrees, they're still very under-represented in all parts of the workforce," she said.

Megan and Olivia are up to the challenge. They're ready to put the days of unequal pay behind them.

"I'm excited to break those barriers and close that gap," Garvey said.

Equal Pay Day marks how far into 2018 a woman will have to work to earn what her male colleagues earned in 2017. That fell on April 10th this year.

Women living in New York have the smallest pay gap, at 89 percent, and Louisiana has the largest at 70 percent on the dollar.

Women are expected to reach pay equity with men in 2059, going off of the last 50 years of change, according to the American Association of University Women.

But progress has slowed since 2001, and if that continues, women will not reach pay equity with men until 2119.

Copyright 2018 WOIO. All rights reserved.