The Real Problem With Pittsburgh

I missed the original story last week, but Samantha Bennett reminds us of a recent Pitt report that illustrates the awful state of the region's adult women.

Step one: There are more adult women than there are adult men. "According to the 2000 census, women older than 18 outnumber men by 14 percent in the city, 16 percent in Allegheny County and 14 percent in the metropolitan area, which includes surrounding counties."

Step two: The adult women are extremely well-educated. "In the metro area, 94 percent have high school diplomas, the highest percentage in the nation. Thirty-five percent in the region have bachelor's degrees."

Step three: These women are chronically under-employed, and under-paid. "In Allegheny County, 71 percent of women 25-59 are employed. That's above average for the nation's 50 largest counties. But only half work full time. Women here work part time at a higher rate than in other cities, counties and metro areas." "So how do we make a living? This region's women have locked up two traditional, low-paid fields: We have 75.5 percent of the office and administrative support jobs, and 61 percent -- second highest in the country -- of the food preparation and serving jobs. We are a region of secretaries and waitresses. With college degrees, apparently."

She concludes: "Why, with so much schooling, are we so poorly paid? Why are we so underrepresented in government and on organizational boards? Why are we paid less than women in other cities?"

She's obviously right, but I don't have any answers.

Get yo Pittsburgh on, indeed.


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Pittsblog 2.0 is written by Mike Madison, a law professor at the University of Pittsburgh. Send email to michael.j.madison[at] Mike also blogs at, on law and technology. Chris Briem of Null Space drops by from time to time.

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