​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​The Women's Council promotes initiatives to empower women, serves as a clearinghouse for information on programs and resources, conducts research on the status of women, and engages in unique partnerships to address barriers and inequalities affecting Wisconsin women. The Women's Council is comprised of 15 members appointed by the Governor and Legislative leaders.




Wisconsin's Gender Wage Gap for women working full-time year-round, compared to their male counterparts - unchanged from 2019. The Gap is larger for Wisconsin's women of color.


​On June 10, 1919, Wisconsin became the first state to ratify the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote.  The Amendment was enacted in August 1920.  Learn what Wisconsin is doing to celebrate the centennial, visit: ​




Wisconsin's women's median annual earnings versus $51,800 for Wisconsin men, for full-time year-round workers - a difference of $1,500. WI women's earnings are also below those of women nationally ($42,200).


published 3/31/20


Wisconsin 79.7% - unchanged from 2019

United States 81.2% - up (narrower) from 80.8% in 2019

WAGE GAP trend 2020.png

One way to better understand the wage gap is to look at the earnings distribution for women and men. Women are more heavily concentrated in the  lower end of the earning scale - particularly with median earnings less than $35,ooo per year.  In part, this is because women tend to cluster in different occupations and are less represented in STEM occupations.


Gender Wage Gap for Racial/Ethnic Minority Populations

Women from racial and ethnic minority populations have much higher wage gaps than would be suggested by the statewide gap. These range from Hispanic women with largest gap earning 57.2% of men's earnings, to Asian women at 76.3%.

Estimating these figures requires using the Census Bureau's 5-year average data, rather than the annual data used above. The statewide wage gap figure (above) uses annual data. Five-year data are preferred for this purpose because Census collects the data with a survey that samples populations. The smaller the group being surveyed, the less reliable any one number could. Be pooling data from a series of year, the dataset becomes large and the data more reliable. See the Census website for survey methodology and discussion about margin of error. 


with Median Annual Earnings, by Race & Ethnicity, 2014-2018 5-yr avg

Wage Gap shown as percent of women's earnings to mens

Median Annual Earnings
Gender Wage Gap
​All Women
White (not Hispanic)
Native American
Black or African American
MEN (all ​groups)
​Source: US Census Bureau, American Community Survey, 2018: ACS 5-Year Estimates Detailed Tables​, B20017 (series), Median earnings in the past 12 months (in 2018 inflation-adjusted dollars) by sex by work experience in the past 12 months for the population 16 years and over with earnings in the past 12 months. 2018 is the most recent year for which data are available​.

Among full-time, year-round workers, Hispanic women have the largest Gender Wage Gap, earning only 57 cents compared to every dollar earned by a man in Wisconsin. They are followed closely by African American women earning 62 cents on the dollar. 

Even between women there is a significant wage gap between white women and women of color. For example, Hispanic women's median annual earnings of $29,700 compared to $41,700 for white womene are equal to earnig 71 cents  for every dollar earned by a white woman, on average.



Wisconsin Women You Should Know About circuit court firsts timeline title larger type.jpg

Update! In January 2020, Judge Maxine White became the
 first African American woman to serve on the W​​isconsin Court of Appeals

Program Spotlight

TB Logo generic sm.jpg  Wisconsin's Governor's Trailblazer Awards for Women in Business

The Governor’s Trailblazer Awards celebrate women's long history of entrepreneurship and deep roots in Wisconsin's broader business community.  The Awards recognize the success of women business owners whose work has carved a path for women business owners today.  

Since 2007, more than 80 women, across 32 Wisconsin counties, have been recognized with a Governor's Trailblazer Award for Women in Business. These Trailblazers come from across Wisconsin, representing businesses large and small and a wide range of industries.  

Awards are currentlyu postponed. Additional information will be provided as available. Follow this page for updates.