By Jason KUROSU
Glendale’s women are better educated and those employed full-time earn more than Glendale men, according to a new study being conducted by the city in conjunction with Mount Saint Mary’s University in Los Angeles.
The report, which was funded by Glendale’s Commission on the Status of Women, analyzes where women rank in comparison to the city’s men and how they compare to women across the county, state and nation.
The study, which is being conducted by researchers at Mount Saint Mary’s University, is still a few months from completion, but the preliminary findings (utilizing 2014 Census data) indicate that Glendale’s women have equaled men in a number of areas that are perennially dominated by men.
Women in Glendale have bested men when it comes to higher education, with more women 25 years and older earning four-year university degrees than men. This is especially evident among the 25-34 age range, where 52% of Glendale women hold a four-year degree, as opposed to just 37% of men.
Female students in Glendale are also faring better than those across the state. The study measured Glendale Unified School District students during the 2013-14 school year and showed that GUSD students graduate from high school at a higher rate than other state and county students.
However, one trend that has carried over throughout all of California is girls graduating at higher rates than boys. Among GUSD students, 94% of girls graduate, compared with 90% of boys.
In terms of employment and wages, Glendale women with full-time employment earn more than men, with a median income of $45,262, as opposed to a median of $42, 918 among full-time working men. However, when part-time and seasonal workers are included, men earn more, though the wage gap is not tremendous, with Glendale women earning 94% of what men earn on average.
The 94% mark still vastly outperforms national numbers, in which women have historically earned far less than men.
The American Association of University Women (AAUW), a national nonprofit organization that promotes gender equality, found in a recent study that in 2014, women nationwide earned about 79% of what men did. This is an improvement from the 59% mark seen in 1974, but the nation still compares poorly worldwide. The United States ranked 65th in terms of gender wage equality, according to a 2014 global gender gap report by the nonprofit World Economic Forum.
California, however, did rank among the top ten states in AAUW’s study, with a wage gap of 84%.
Despite the improvements in women’s educational and occupational representation, true equality still eludes the nation, as well as Glendale.
AAUW’s study showed that though education generally is correlated with higher pay, it is not a definitive gauge for whether a woman will receive equal pay. The study found that white and Asian women earn more than their black and Hispanic counterparts, even while holding the same educational credentials.
Glendale’s relative wage equality also did not necessarily indicate equal representation in many occupational fields throughout the city. The Mount Saint Mary’s study indicated that less than one third of Glendale’s “higher paying occupations” were staffed by women.
Glendale City Council member and past chair of the Commission on the Status of Women Paula Devine called the study’s findings “fantastic,” particularly in regard to the narrowing wage gap.
“We are at the lead, or leading the way, to closing the gender gap, right here in Glendale,” said Devine at a November Glendale City Council meeting. “I’m just really proud of our city and the fact that we are so close to gender equality, more so than other cities and counties in our state.”
Other factors yet to be reviewed for the study include poverty, domestic violence rates, health factors, business and political representation, and issues affecting female veterans.
The full study will be completed in February, according to Glendale Deputy City Manager John Takhtalian.