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Study Looks At Wyoming Women's Economic Power

Wyoming Legislature

March 8 is International Women’s Day. All over the country women skipped work and participated in marches and rallies to spotlight women’s economic contributions as a part of an action called "A Day Without a Woman."

Wyoming has a reputation as the state with one of the worst gender wage gaps in the U.S. In response, State Representatives Marti Halverson and Cathy Connolly co-sponsored a bill to commission a study to look at the disparity in wages and benefits between men and women in the state.

House Bill 209 will be signed Thursday by Governor Matt Mead, giving the Department of Workforce Services the green light to begin working on the wage disparity study. 

Representative Connolly said this study will help the state "develop the best possible policies to address any gaps that are found and we can think of this both in terms of what’s best for women, men, families, and communities."

Representative Connolly added that addressing this issue is also good for economic development in the state. 

"It doesn’t bode well for a company when they are doing their due diligence about the state to think about what it means to move a company and their families to the state," Connolly said.  "And we don’t want headlines that say that Wyoming is worse for women given our wage gap."

Connolly said the study will take place over the next year and a half.

Tennessee -- despite what the name might make you think -- was born and raised in the Northeast. She most recently called Vermont home. For the last 15 years she's been making radio -- as a youth radio educator, documentary producer, and now reporter. Her work has aired on Reveal, The Heart, LatinoUSA, Across Women's Lives from PRI, and American RadioWorks. One of her ongoing creative projects is co-producing Wage/Working (a jukebox-based oral history project about workers and income inequality). When she's not reporting, Tennessee likes to go on exploratory running adventures with her mutt Murray.
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