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Antwan Harris / Eyewitness News
Email: aharris@wwltv.com | Twitter: @antwanharris

NEW ORLEANS -- If you ask 90-year-old Leah Chase if she works harder than any of her male counterparts, she would say, 'I sure as heck do.'

Chase has managed Dooky Chase's restaurant for decades and says hard work is just part of the job.
She said getting paid for the hard work doesn't always come easy.

'Sometimes you don't get compensated right,' said Chase. 'Sometimes women don't even get a thank you, or an award for the little extra you do.'

According to a new study from the National Women's Law Center, minority women are not getting paid their worth in the workforce. The center's research stated in Louisiana for every one dollar a male makes, an African American woman makes about 49 cents. That's the worst in the country.

Dr. Walter Lane, an economist at University of New Orleans, said the issue is only getting worse.

'The news recently is that the gap is not shrinking. It has been persisting and it seems to be widening,' said Lane.

Lane added some reasons for the wage gap are the types of jobs men take and women won't take, like hard labor.

Also more women are at home taking care of families. For the working woman, social issues facing minorities may result into a lower wage.

Lane said, 'The racial inequalities lead into it primarily through differences in education, the dropout rates in schools are higher, the difference in job experience.'

Chase believes women who put in the extra work don't have a point to prove.

'She is doing what comes natural. It is the nature of women to push a little further, to do a little extra. That is just what it is all about.'

Experts say one way to close the gap is raise minimum wage.

Last year, Louisiana passed a law allowing female state workers to make just as much as males in the same position.

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