Anyone who even casually reads this blog should know that I love Provo. That’s why I’m writing. That said, however, I’m well aware that everything in Provo is not perfect. And unfortunately, one of the issues we struggle with is gender equality.
According to the Deseret News, Provo women make some of the lowest salaries in the entire country*. That’s pretty disheartening. It’s bad simply because, I’d argue, it’s inherently bad to have systematic gender inequality*. But it’s also bad because it hamstrings our city’s development. Women make up a considerable part of the work force, especially the creative class, and if Provo can’t offer competitive salaries the city will lose valuable and innovative workers.
This phenomenon also may be part of the larger problem of generally low salaries. How can any part of a city gentrify — a goal I often hear repeated — if no one makes a gentrifying salary? How can we expand retail opportunities (in downtown, for example) if we don’t have the money to support them?
There are certainly a variety of factors contributing to Provo women’s low salaries, as well as ways to work toward a solution. But for now we hopefully can begin seeing this as one of the many challenges Provo needs to overcome on it’s path to economic development and sustainable growth.
*This post originally had two unfortunate typos. First, it originally said “county” when it should have said “country,” and second it originally said “equality” where it should have said “inequality.” Sadly I write many of these posts very quickly and have no editor (other than Laura) so I sometimes miss things. (Laura is the one who caught these two typos.)