A report from the Commission on the Status of Women found deep economic divides between white and Asian women and black and Latina women.

Teddy Rosenbluth

Daily Press intern

Women in Santa Monica make 78 cents for every dollar earned by a man, according to a report released last week by the Santa Monica Commission on the Status of Women.

This is an improvement from 2013, when women earned 72 cents for every dollar earned by men, but still slightly lower than the national average, according to recent data from the US Census Bureau. When compared to white men, women made 69 cents to every dollar.

Although there has been an increase in diversity among women since 2015, the wage gap between white women and women of color persists. Full-time Latina workers made only 44 cents for every dollar earned by a man and about $30,000 less than white women annually. Asian women made about $12,000 more annually.

Furthermore, while women made up a little more than half of the population in Santa Monica, they made up only 31% of the jobs in the city’s growing technology sector. However, they comprised 53% of the workforce in service occupations, such as waitressing and cleaning.

Three in 10 women living in Santa Monica were born outside of the United States and the data shows a steady decline since 2000. The demographics of these women have also shifted as the percent of immigrants from Europe dropped while the percentage of Asian and Latin American immigrants increased.

More than 7,000 mothers with children under 18 lived in Santa Monica, 59% of whom were employed. 95% of single mothers in Santa Monica with children under 18 were employed.

Aggravated assault, a crime that disproportionately affects women, rose by 67% between 2016 and 2017 and reported rapes, of which 75% involved female victims, increased by 27%. Overall violent crime rates in Santa Monica increased 108% between 2014 and 2017, but have since decreased. In the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School district, 8% of students reported harassment due to their actual or perceived sexual orientation.

On average, women reported higher stress levels and more economic concerns than men in Santa Monica. Local women said they were concerned about increased crime, dissatisfaction with homeless services and traffic issues.

Women living in the Pico and Mid-City area reported the lowest satisfaction with their lives, one of the highest rates of poverty and many paid 35% or more of their income on rent. Housing prices in the city have steadily increased, now placing the median home value at $1,170,000.

Women make up 23% of the homeless population in Santa Monica. Those not living in shelters, which have approximately one bed for every three homeless individuals, live downtown.

Although there was not concrete data on student homelessness, the report estimates as many as 10% students at Santa Monica College and 19% of students at Los Angeles Community College District could be homeless.

Despite these hardships, some aspects of life for women have improved.

The 7,900 women-owned businesses made an annual revenue of $1.26 billion, although the overall economic impact of these businesses in the city was relatively small. Only 14% of women-owned businesses in 2012 had paid employees, compared to 28% owned by men.

Younger women in the city also seemed to have higher levels of formal education than older generations. 76% of women under 45 had at least a bachelor’s degree while, of the women older than 65, 57% had college degrees. Furthermore, girls in SMMUSD schools had a higher graduation than the California average and their male peers.


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1 Comment

  1. The first sentence in the article — “Women in Santa Monica make 78 cents for every dollar earned by a man, according to a report released last week by the Santa Monica Commission on the Status of Women” is misleading at best. It has zero value unless you understand that there are important reasons for this so called wage gap that are completely legitimate and are not at all prejudiced against women in general. For instance, there are many very difficult and dirty jobs that women are not as interested in as men. Picking up people’s trash and waste is a good example. Very few women are interested is that job; but, having done it, I can tell you they deserve to be paid a healthy wage for the dangerous job of moving very heavy containers within the public street and dealing with the filth and stench every single work day. On the other hand, women who make up the majority of nursing jobs in the country also have a very difficult job and deserve to be paid well. Many times they make more than their husbands. I know two of them who make more than their husbands who are engineers. The point is, the type of job people choose matters most in these statistics; but, the media never goes into any more detail than the useless headline.

    On the same note, I’ll share a few other interesting statistics about the status of men in America that you almost never see in the media:

    1. Since 1979, women in the United States have gotten almost 14 million more advanced degrees than men.
    2. Men in America are much more likely than women to be homeless, alcoholic or suicidal.
    3. There are 242 homeless men for every 100 homeless women.
    4. There are 200 men with alcoholism for every 100 women with alcoholism.
    5. There are 77 men enrolled in college for every 100 women.
    6. There are 73 men enrolled in grad school for every 100 women.
    7. There are 450 men who commit suicide for every 100 women.
    8. There are 212 men dying of opioid overdoses for every 100 women.

    My point in sharing this important information, is to make more people aware of these statistics as I know that many people incorrectly assume that men have all the advantages in society. After working in government for 40 years, it is my firm belief that many public programs and resources cater to women and children at the expense of men and fathers and consequently all of society is negatively affected. There is a DEFINITE need to address the needs of boys and young men if we are to improve society as a whole. I have always told my two grown daughters that they have no limits as to what they can accomplish with their own hard work, skills, abilities and effort as long as they are willing to put in the effort. I am also proud to say that they will both be getting Masters degrees this year.

    In summary, I’ve learned that life is not always fair to anyone, no matter your gender or race; but, you generally get out of life what you put into it and hard effort is usually rewarded … period!

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