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Labor pains in the workforce and in the home

Talk of Iowa, hosted by Charity Nebbe

Women have made many strides in the workplace over the last century, but issues like the pay gap, occupational segregation and unequal divisions of household labor persist.

As of October 2022, women made 77 cents for every dollar paid to a man. For Black women, it's 67 cents and Latina women make 57 cents for every dollar paid to a white man. Domestic labor, a female-dominated field, is among the least-paid professions and "these workers are three times as likely to be living in poverty as other workers," according to the Economic Policy Institute.

On this Talk of Iowa, we explore women and labor, the strides they've made and the challenges they still face. Host Charity Nebbe is joined by Iowa State University sociologist Ann Oberhauser to share the story of women in the workforce and the women often left out of the conversation. Then, Mary Noonan, of the University of Iowa, discusses how childcare and unequal division of labor at home impact women's work lives.

Finally, electrician Amanda Cooling talks about the hurdles for women in male-dominated fields, and Jennifer Sherer of The Economic Policy Institute explains why women's representation in the trades industry hasn't budged from 3%.

This episode is part of Talk of Iowa's Womanhood series, airing from Oct. 23 - Oct. 27.


  • Ann Oberhauser, professor of sociology, Iowa State University
  • Mary Noonan, associate professor in the Department of Sociology and Criminology, University of Iowa
  • Amanda Cooling, electrician, founding president of Iowa Women in Trades
  • Jennifer Sherer, director of state worker power initiatives, The Economic Policy Institute
Charity Nebbe is the host of IPR's Talk of Iowa
Dani Gehr is a producer for River to River and Talk of Iowa. Dani came to Iowa from her hometown in the northwest suburbs of Chicago to attend Iowa State University, where she received a bachelor’s degree in journalism, international studies and French. Before coming to IPR, Dani covered local government in Story County for the Ames Tribune and Des Moines Register.