Equal pay

Gender Pay Gap in MN Gender Pay Gap in MN

Gender Pay Gap is wider in MN than most other states.  According to an NPR news program yesterday, “Minnesota is a national leader for women’s participation in the workplace. And yet, we also have a wider gender wage gap than most other states. That means that women in Minnesota are consistently paid less than men. And over the past decade, we’ve made little progress in closing the wage gap.”  One of the experts on this subject, Christina Ewig, faculty director of the Center on Women, Gender and Public Policy at the University of Minnesota; pointed out that there are three major factors that impact the gender pay gap.

  • Occupational segregation: We have a clustering of women in particular kinds of jobs and men in other kinds of jobs. We tend to pay feminized jobs less. Think about a childcare provider versus a construction worker.
  • Discrimination: Even though it’s very difficult to measure it, we assume that a good portion of the wage gap is discrimination.
  • Experience gaps: That’s due to time that’s taken out of the labor force, whether it’s working part time or taking off that year to take care of an infant child. That translates into losing extra wages, promotions and raises.

The experts discussed other key impacts including the lack of pay transparency, perception that women are not as good at negotiating salary as men and that many women are still the primary managers in the home and with care giving.  Knowing some of the factors in the gender pay gap in health care and other industries can help identify ways to address and reduce the gender pay gap.

A report by the MN Dept of Employment and Economic Development stated that, “over a quarter of women are employed in health care and social assistance, making this the dominant industry for employing women.”  Other than physicians where men make up 64.4% and women make up 35.6%, in all the other health care professions we have researched there is a significantly higher percentage of these professions are made up of women. 


All-worker Median Wage Rate ($)

Male Median Wage Rate ($)

Female Median Wage Rate ($)

Gender Wage Ratio (%)

Gender Wage Gap (%)

Health Care and Social Assistance






Resources on the topic of the gender pay gap were provided by NPR and these included: Center on Women, Gender, and Public Policy, Who Earns? A Fact Sheet on Gender and Employment in Minnesota, Women’s Economic Security Act (WESA),WESA Annual Report (2022), Overview of the Physician Workforce 2019 (state.mn.us)

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Source: Minnesota has a wider wage gap than most states. How can we close it?

Angela DavisSamantha Matsumoto and Nicole Johnson, The Gender Wage Gap / Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (mn.gov)  March 20, 2023  



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