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Keep salaries gender neutral; pay gap widens at top levels

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Heads up: Pay equity is in your hands; make sure salaries are always gender neutral.

Reason: Women are less likely than men to reach the highest salary brackets, according to a new U.S. Census Bureau report that tracks gender differences in pay.

About 16 percent of men who worked full time in 2001 earned at least $75,000 a year, compared with 6 percent of women. About 20 per-cent of men earned between $50,000 and $75,000, compared to 12 percent of women.

The data show that women in the private sector made progress in jobs predominantly held by men. Example: 34 percent of women worked in a professional specialty or in executive, administrative and managerial jobs, compared with 30 percent of men.

For more comparisons to benchmark your pay practices, go to www.census.gov

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