Apr 13, 2016 03:24 AM EDT

Gender Wage Gap Widens: The Issue On Equal Pay

By Jane Reed
President Obama Delivers His Last State Of The Union Address To Joint Session Of Congress
President Barack Obama waves at the conclusion of his State of the Union address and spoke on topics including income inequality.
(Photo : Evan Vucci - Pool/Getty Images)

In 2015, the gender pay gap is narrower than any recorded year ever. This is a good sign for female employees. However, looking closely, it looks like the gender wage gap has widened in 2015.

"During the last decade, women have only made just a few pennies worth of progress," explains Lisa Maatz an advocate of the "Paycheck Fairness Act" and vice president for government relations at the American Association of University Women, a nonprofit advocacy group. The government is moving in the right direction but these women have expressed that it's not moving enough.

Previously, JobsNHire reported that on average, women only earn about 70 cents for every dollar a man earns. Did the Equal Pay Act of 1963 make a difference? According to Marketwatch, the ratio of women's to men's medial weekly full time income declined from 82.5 cents to 81.1 cents for every dollar a man earned in 2015. Is this difference good or bad? A study from IWPR has released information that women worker's median weekly income were $726 and men earned $895 in 2015.

Looking at culture and diversity, African American women saw the smallest raise of 0.5% growth in weekly earnings in the over-all female population, compared to African American men who didn't see any increase at all. Asian women's income raised to 4.2%, 3.2% growth for Hispanic women and only a 1.1% increase for caucasian or white women.

Heidi Hartmann, the president of the Institute for Women's Policy Research in Washington, D.C., explains that the industry has advanced to celebrate women but the wage gap is still widening. Even though women have accounted for growth in higher education compared to men, this gap is still pulling women back.

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