A rally in support of equal pay was held at the state Capitol on Tuesday.
Pennsylvania ranks 29th in the country for pay equity. On average, women make 79 percent of what men make in the commonwealth.
State Rep. Donna Bullock says African American women make 31 percent less and Latino women make more than 40 percent less.
“The wage gaps are in place across the state, regardless of industry, occupation or educational level,” Bullock said.
Bullock says pay difference has a far-reaching impact that includes the lack of ability to pay off student loans as fast as men and build retirement savings that equal their male counterparts.
Some equal pay advocates say that leadership in the House and Senate have blocked efforts to close the pay gap.
Republican State Rep. Martina White says there are ongoing efforts to make the changes.
“It is not my place to talk about the motives of leadership,” White said. “We as legislators have to continue to work together to give the people what they want.”
Barbara Price is with the American Association of University Women. She says there has been some progress.
“There has been the issue of forcing businesses to do certain things that has caused some pushback, yet we have evidence that some businesses have signed on to make sure they are paying salaries equally,” Price said.