Women faring better financially, but wage gap could persist (for 200 years)

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147926 full

In its latest annual report on the status of women and girls in California, the only women's university in Los Angeles — Mount Saint Mary's — found that women are faring slightly better financially than they have in past years.

The report shows women have made gains in college graduation rates. In 2015, for instance, they held 52 percent of post-secondary degrees in California.

But too few are majoring in science, technology, engineering and math, says Emerald Archer, who directs the Center for the Advancement of Women.

"Women are still vastly underrepresented in STEM fields, and in terms of earning a competitive wage, most of those wages are in the STEM professions, so we really need to work on getting women into those fields," Archer told KPCC.

In 2016, full-time, year-round female workers earned only 86 percent of what men earned.

"Women should be making more — especially with the legislation dealing with equal pay in California. At the rate of movement, in terms of wage equality, we won't reach equality until 2248," Archer said.

Yup — for more than 200 more years. Some possible good news: Archer says that if more women worked in STEM fields, the wage gap would certainly shrink.

Former California first lady Maria Shriver and actress Gwyneth Paltrow were on hand Tuesday to highlight some of the findings.

You can see highlights of the report below, or read the full report here.

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