Julia Tuttle helped transform Miami from a swampy wilderness to a bustling metropolis, but like much of the country, women here are lagging behind men both in government and in the economy, according to a study by the FIU Metropolitan Center, an urban think tank that provides policy solutions to organizations in South Florida.
The study found that women in Miami make on average 87 cents to the dollar to men, a gap that’s going to take at least three decades to fix. Silver lining: that’s better than the national average of 79 cents to the dollar.
When race is factored in, the disparities are worse. Black and Hispanic women make 63 cents to the dollar when compared to white women.
According to the study, the median salary of a woman with a graduate or professional degree was $49,400 in Miami-Dade. A man’s was $72,821. That’s a 47 percent earning disparity.
The pay gap is the worst in these three occupations:
- legal (114 percent)
- health diagnostics (40 percent)
- architecture and engineering (34 percent)
And in county government, less than one third of board members are women.
But women are crushing it in education. Women have both higher high school graduation rates — 79.5 percent versus 73.6 percent — and higher college graduation rates — 62 percent versus 46 percent — than men in Miami-Dade.
Still, most small businesses in Miami-Dade are owned by men. That’s important because we’re a small business community.
There are some positive trends. From 2007 to 2012, the growth of female-owned companies outpaced those owned by men. Now the percentage of women-owned firms in Miami-Dade is higher than the state and the country. Miami-Dade is at 40 percent, while Florida is at 38.5 percent and the United States at 35 percent.
And it seems like the county is working towards closing these gaps. Gender equality in government and the workplace means a more prosperous city for us all.
Read the whole study here and join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter with #MiamiWomenRising.