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Report: Training Widens Pay Gap

By Clea Benson
Congressional Quarterly

"That’s because women are still getting trained as sales clerks and office workers, jobs traditionally filled by women.

Meanwhile, men in WIA programs are being trained to build, install and repair things. Such positions tend to pay more, says Ariane Hegewisch, a study director at the institute, which is affiliated with George Washington University.

The data show that workers who complete the government-paid training are even less likely than the overall U.S. workforce to pursue “non-traditional” employment, defined as a job where at least 75 percent of the other workers are members of the opposite sex.

'Thus WIA services appear to contribute to increasing sex segregation in the labor market,' the report found.
Hegewisch and her colleagues say that states receiving WIA funds should increase counseling to encourage women to choose non-traditional career paths. With the program due for reauthorization,a new emphasis on steering women toward higher-paying jobs could be included in a revised law.

'Some women really don’t want to do non-traditional jobs. But some, once they know how much they pay, would be quite interested,' Hegewisch says.

Training might need to include extra support for women entering non-traditional fields, she says: 'It’s a little bit of extra investment, but it makes the whole labor market more effective.'"

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