Commission, University Present Mixed Bag of Conclusions in “Status of Pasadena Women” Report

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JAMES MACPHERSON

7:19 am | March 5, 2015


A city commission Wednesday released a Mount St. Mary’s University report on the status of women in Pasadena showing, among other facts, that women’s earnings in Pasadena when compared to men’s are significantly higher than the national average.

Highlights from the report, which was produced by Pasadena’s Commission on the Status of Women in partnership with the University, were presented by report collaborator Dr. Eleanor Dantzler Siebert at a morning reception at the Pasadena Public Library’s main branch auditorium.

Download the full report here

After the highlights panelists from Peace Over Violence, the Pasadena Police Department, Union Station Homeless Services, the California Department of Veteran Affairs and the U.S. Department of Labor were led in a discussion of the report’s findings by Lena Kennedy.

That reception filled the room almost to capacity with a crowd of about 125. Many government and civic leaders, activists and two mayoral candidates were in the audience.

“Our hope is that this report will spark conversations like you’re having today and inspire action in your community,” Dr. Siebert said.

Dr. Siebert said that University researchers were directed to five areas of exploration by the Commission: “The first was employment and learnings, the second was housing and homelessness, the third [was] women veterans, fourth, domestic violence, and human trafficking was the final section.”

Key findings:

• Pasadena has a total population of 140,000, half of them are women.

• In Pasadena, women earn 91 cents for every dollar that men earn, for a ratio of 0.91. In the rest of California, that ratio is 0.84 and in the United States overall women earn 79 cents on average for every dollar earned by men.

• In Pasadena, researchers identified four occupational clusters where women earn as much as and even slightly more than men.

• In terms of housing, 30 percent of Pasadena housing units are headed by women,  11 percent by single mothers and 19 percent are women living alone. It’s worth noting that of the single mothers, 42 percent have children under the age of 18 years. And of the women who live alone, 38 percent are over the age of 65.

• The most recent homeless count used at the time the report was prepared showed 650 homeless people in Pasadena, roughly one half of one percent of the city’s population.  There were approximately 200 homeless women. The reports shows that two-thirds of the homeless women are in in shelters.

• Pasadena has about 5,000 veterans and these include more than 400 women, the report concludes. Pasadena’s women veterans are predominantly African-American. 30 percent of women veterans are African-American compared to 10 percent of the non-veteran women in Pasadena. Six women veterans were listed among the city’s homeless, the report says.

• The reports says that the Pasadena Police Department receives over 700 calls for assistance in domestic violence situations each year. This number has been trending downwards since 2010. 84 percent of the reported victims are female and the median age of the victims is 32 years. Latinas and African-Americans are disproportionately represented among the domestic violence victims.

• The reports says that because California has major international value, a high immigrant population and a large economy, it is one of the nation’s top destinations for trafficked persons. In California, 47 percent of documented victims are exploited for sex and 49 percent for labor.

Pasadena’s Commission on the Status of Women includes nine women appointed by the Pasadena City Council.  During the past 30 years, the Commission has provided pertinent information regarding issues affecting women and has made recommendations on local programs and legislation to promote and ensure equal rights and opportunities for Pasadena girls and women.