Equal Pay for Equal Work

This past Tuesday, April 4th, was Equal Pay Day. This day symbolizes how far into the calendar year that a women has to work in order to make the amount of money men earned in the previous year. This conveys the idea that because women work the same amount but earn less than men, they must work longer to earn the same amount of pay. And the gender pay gap is even greater for women of color on the job. 

I want to share with you some facts that I came across on the gender pay gap and the gender discrimination that exists on the job and through compensation. The Center for American Progress has everything you need to know on the gender wage gap. 

1. Women earn 79 cents for every dollar a man makes. 

The median annual wages of a woman amounts to $39,621 compared to $50,383 for men. The loss in wages that women face is enough to pay months of rent, groceries and child care. 

2. Women earn less than men in all occupations with the exception of five.

Men out-earn women in all professions except: wholesale and retail buyers, police and sheriffs patrol officers, bookkeeping, accounting, general office clerks. Even in “pink collar” professions, in which women are disproportionately represented, men still earn more. 

3. The gender wage gap continues to grow as women grow older. 

Between the ages of 15 and 24 the pay gap is $4,373 per year, but when women reach 46-64 the pay gap is $15,404 less than their male counterparts. 

4. Gender wage gap has negative consequences on families’ financial security

In families where the woman is the sole or primary breadwinner, those families are missing out on wages that the woman is not earning solely due to her gender. 

5. The gender wage gap could be closed, but Congress is preventing that from happening. 

Congress has yet to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act into law which would close the gender pay gap by prohibiting employers from gender-based pay discrimination. This bill has been introduced in every congress since 1997 and still has not been passed. 

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