Business: Situation Report

PRIMARILY because so many women have started working over the past 15 years—and have taken jobs at the lower end of the wage scale—the difference between men's and women's pay has actually widened. In 1955 the average female employee earned 64% of the wages paid to similarly employed men; in 1970 she took home only 59% as much.

The gap is even greater within broad occupational groupings. Women in sales work, for example, in 1970 averaged only $4,188 v. $9,790 for the typical salesman. The difference in part reflects built-in job discrimination. Retail outlets are far more likely to assign women...

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