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Study finds central Illinois gender pay gap higher than national average

Central Illinois’ gender pay gap sits at 26 percent according to the American Association of University Women. (WICS)

Central Illinois’ gender pay gap sits at 26 percent according to the American Association of University Women.

"I personally believe that it is very unfair,” Bobbi McKennie said.

McKennie is a sophomore at the University of Illinois Springfield. She’s studying computer sciences and plans to join the workforce upon graduation.

"I just believe that everybody should be paid equally because if I can do what a man can do, and sometimes better, why am I not getting paid the same amount as him," McKennie said.

50 years ago, the national gender pay gap sat at about 58 percent according to the National Committee on Pay Equity.

In 2016, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported it was 82 percent.

To close this gap, UIS instructor Donna Rogers said a couple things need to happen.

Rogers said candidates should know the going rate for a position before walking into the interview.

She also said don’t be too quick to give out your past salary history.

"Asking, ‘is there any way you can give me the salary range that you're actually going for’ and ‘what would you be using my past salary for?’" Rogers said.

Rogers suggested employers conduct regular compensation surveys as well to ensure they're not discriminating against a specific race or gender.

"Sometimes I just don't think they know, I think sometimes people hire and hire and hire and they don't stop and take time to stop and look at their current salary structure."

Rogers also said women need to negotiate. She said several reports show men are more likely to negotiate salaries than women.

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