Advocates pushing to improve pay equity in Mass.

BOSTON (WWLP) — When it comes to equal pay for equal work, Massachusetts ranks in the bottom half of the country.

Women in Massachusetts rank number one as the most educated in the United States, but when it comes to pay equity, the Commonwealth is ranked 37th in the nation.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau , women only earn 77 percent of what their male counterparts earn. Public policy advocates speaking to the Legislature's Women's Caucus said the more education a woman has, the more likely her colleagues will be male and the larger the wage gap will be.

Advocates say Massachusetts could improve pay equity by making salary information available in the workplace.

According to Victoria Budson, the Women & Public Policy Executive Director at Harvard University, “The majority of people in the United States who get college, high school and graduate degrees are women. Our talent management for out country and our Commonwealth will rely on women's labor. And the hiring, retention and promotion of women is going to be a critical factor on making sure we have an effective labor force.”

Amherst State Representative Ellen Story has filed a bill specifying that jobs of equal skill, effort, responsibility and working conditions be treated equitably. Her bill would allow school lunch ladies to be paid the same as male janitors.

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