Women always have, and still do, make less money than their male counterparts. It may even be a bit be unsettling to learn that women don’t have a higher average salary than men in any state in the U.S.! As Women's History Month wraps up, let's take a look at how far we have left to go when it comes to achieving equal pay, specifically here in Idaho.

Based on percentage differences Idaho is ranked 45th with one of the largest gender pay gaps, according to research gathered by business.org. Women in Idaho make 25% less than men. The average salary for a woman is $36,761 compared to a man's average salary of $48,861.

The data from this study was obtained using what is called the "stop-pay" methodology and is based on the day of the year women start working for free based on the gender pay gap in each state. Women in Idaho effectively stop getting paid on October 1st. That's basically three months of unpaid labor for women. Are you feeling depressed yet?

Other findings reveal that our neighbors in Wyoming have the largest gender pay gap with women earning 35% less than men overall. Women in Wyoming effectively stop getting paid on August 26th. Nationally, women make 18% less in their yearly earnings than men.

Reasons for a gender pay gap vary from state to state. Some of those reasons could include:

  • conscious and unconscious bias during the hiring process
  • a cultural emphasis on traditional family work structures keeping mothers in the home or in part-time entry-level positions
  • discriminatory corporate practices and the lack of local legislation that protects women from them

There is no denying that as a society we have come a long way in the past 100 years. In the past 10 years, however, research shows that progress has slowed way down. As it is true for most things, change starts at a local level. Change relies on individuals within our own community to do their part in first acknowledging these inequalities, and then taking action by committing to do different and do better.

LOOK: Milestones in women's history from the year you were born

Women have left marks on everything from entertainment and music to space exploration, athletics, and technology. Each passing year and new milestone makes it clear both how recent this history-making is in relation to the rest of the country, as well as how far we still need to go. The resulting timeline shows that women are constantly making history worthy of best-selling biographies and classroom textbooks; someone just needs to write about them.

Scroll through to find out when women in the U.S. and around the world won rights, the names of women who shattered the glass ceiling, and which country's women banded together to end a civil war.

Gallery Credit: Isabel Sepulveda

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