Breaking News
More () »

The pay gap between men and women is still there, especially in the Houston area

Women make less money than men and the pay gap is even wider for women of color, according to research done at the University of Houston.

HOUSTON — Women make less money than men and the pay gap is even wider for women of color. That's according to research done at the University of Houston.


The pay gap continues to exist, especially in Houston.

Ashley Bailey is what's referred to as a "juggler." She has three children, a husband, a dog and a full-time job.

"It's chaos, especially when they're all this young," she said.

She has found her balance in life.

"I like being able to do both (work and be a present parent). I'm thankful that I can do both," she said.

She works remotely and understands that it's a tradeoff when it comes to her checks.

"I know in the back of my mind, just in general ... I'm not paid as much as some of my counterparts who may or may not have the same amount of experience as me," she said.

The pay gap, by definition, is the median earning difference between women and men. UH Professor Elizabeth Gregory is the director of the Institute for Research on Women, Gender and Sexuality at the school. She said childcare is one of the main reasons for wage disparity.

"Nationally, the dynamic is women are making about 80 cents on the dollar to men," Gregory said. "Certainly, men are understood to care for their families but they're not generally understood to be the ones to leave in an emergency or to do the child pickup around 4 o'clock."

Gregory's research revealed a greater gap in Harris County due to the male-dominated, high-paying oil and gas jobs. It also showed a "double gap" involving women of color. White women make 70 cents to every white man's dollar, according to her research, while black women make 45 cents and Hispanic women about 38 cents.

"Because both gender and race-ethnicity are used to funnel people into different kinds of jobs and you see different kinds of investment in education so people have access to different jobs," Gregory said.

Bailey knows all too well about the gap. She said she once left a job knowing that a male counterpart was making more. She said she thinks open dialogue is the first step to closing the gap.

"You can also be transparent and have truthful conversations and honest conversations with people regardless of the topic and it gets easier the more you do it," Bailey said.

Bailey said she hopes one day, years from now, she won't have to talk about the pay gap between women and men with her daughter.

Tiffany Craig on social media: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Before You Leave, Check This Out