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Report: NC Women See Economic Progress – And Setbacks

UN Women/Ryan Brown
Flickr, Creative Commons,

An analysis on women in the North Carolina workforce shows mixed results on closing the economic gender gap.  

This year's Status of Women report from the Department of Administration says women's earnings have improved. But they still make about 81 cents on the dollar compared to men. And the share of women in the workforce was worse in 2016 than it was in 2002.  State Administration Secretary Machelle Sanders said the report shows the need for policy that would push investors toward more diverse businesses.

“We know that those organizations that are inclusive in their workforce, in their management team and on their boards... those are the organizations that not only excel with innovation, their bottom line far exceeds those that do not have that,” Sander said.

Sanders said she supports an equal rights amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Democrats in the state Legislature proposed a bill to ratify the amendment last year, but it died in committee.

Paid leave policies benefit not only the working women, but also the businesses that employ those women, according to Mary Williams-Stover, director of the North Carolina Council on Women and Youth Involvement.

“It lowers employee turnover as well,” Williams-Stover said. “Any policy that supports work-life balance is a policy where more support is needed.”

Will Michaels is WUNC's General Assignment Reporter and fill-in host for "Morning Edition"
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