Afifa Saburi
Women's and Gender Studies

In Missouri, women working full-time earn about $10,000 less per year than men.  

Associate professor of gender studies at the University of Missouri, Lynn Itagaki, says the gap is hard to close when things outside of a woman's control arise. 

"When they have emergencies, or when they have to save for education, whether it's for themselves, or whether it's for their children, they won't have that and they'll end up paying so much more on the back end," Itagaki said.  

If the numbers stay consistent, we could be seeing bigger issues start to emerge, Itagki said. 

"A conservative estimate of over the lifetime earnings of half a million dollars, that would not be paid to women," Itagaki said. 

Williams feels that when women don't get paid the amount they deserve, it can make them feel inferior. 

"It sends a message to society that we're not as valuable as men," Williams said. 

Although progress has been made when addressing the gender pay gap, there is a lot more that can be done to help increase the living conditions of women. Itagaki explained a transformation is needed to help establish this culture change to close the wage cap even further. 

“It's a transformative moment for a lot of these workplaces that are male dominated, that I don't think a lot of workplaces do engage with. And so as a result, it has a kind of chilling effect on women who go into these fields,” Itagaki said. 

You can learn more about Itagaki’s insights on gender pay gap here: