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Report Finds Gender Gap Persists in California

Report Finds Gender Gap Persists in California

The gender gap is still prevalent in California, and women of color experience noticeable inequities, especially when it comes to poverty and life expectancy. That is the conclusion reached in a terrific new report from Mount St. Mary’s University, The Report on the Status of Women and Girls in California 2015.

The comprehensive report analyzes the status of women and girls in a number of arenas, including education, employment, poverty, business leadership, political representation, and mental and physical health.

The report finds that California is becoming increasingly diverse, with communities of color now representing 61% of the state’s female population, up from 56% in 2005. Latinas are the fastest growing racial and ethnic group. And that trend is likely to continue, with nearly a third of Latinas (32%) under the age of 18, compared to just 16% of Whites.

The main takeaway from the report is that women, especially women of color, are still not on equal footing as men, particularly in terms of socioeconomic status:

This Report reveals that women and girls in California continue to be more disadvantaged than men in important areas — from education and earnings to political representation. While women earn more college degrees than men, they are far outpaced in the highest-paying fields. Within the majority of professions, women on average earn less and fewer women than men reach the top leadership positions. Single women with children are more likely than men to struggle in poverty, especially women of color. Women can expect to live longer than men, but the disparities in health and health care among ethnic groups persist. While the number of women serving in the United States Congress hit a historic high in 2015, the representation of women in California has lost ground at the state level.

CPEHN’s work focuses on many of these socioeconomic factors as key determinants of health in California’s communities of color. Our report, The Landscape of Opportunity: Cultivating Health Equity in California, includes a number of recommendations for how to equitably address the social and environmental determinants of health.

This new resource from Mount St. Mary’s does a great job adding a gender lens and examining how women are faring across the state. If you haven’t already, go check it out!

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