The National Committee on Pay Equity started Equal Pay Day in 1996 to bring awareness to demonstrate wage inequities between men and women.
Each year on a Tuesday in April, Equal Pay Day brings awareness to pay discrepancies between women and men around the world for the same work.
You probably have seen posts, tweets, articles, and blurbs with #EqualPayDay today that represents how far into the work week a woman works to earn as much a man doing the same job.
It is always on a Tuesday to “represent how far into the next work week women must work to earn what men earned the previous week.” In other words, because women earn less on average, they must work longer for the same pay.
This photo from NBC News really struck a cord with me! If you don’t believe there is a gender wage gap, take a look at the 2016 Pew Research Center study that illustrates that while white, non-Hispanic women make 83 centers for every dollar, Black women make 66 cents, and Hispanic women make 60 cents. I have written about this more than once on this blog too…
Concurring with Emily Martin, vice president for workplace injustice National Women’s Law Center, “African American Women shouldn’t need to work more than 66 years to earn what a white man earns in 40 years.”
Takeaways from a recent analysis by the National Women’s Law Center:
- A black woman starting her career today (and working full-time, year round) will lose an average of $877,480 over her 40-year career, relative to a white man.
- Black women stand to lose more than $1 million over the course of their careers, in six states (New Jersey, Louisiana, Connecticut, California, Massachusetts and Washington D.C.).
- Black women who are highly educated still face a gap. Those who have a bachelor’s degree or beyond (master’s, PhD, etc.) make around what a white men who attended some college but never graduated earns.
- In a wide variety of occupations ― those that are well-paid and poorly paid, those that are female-dominated and those that are non-traditional for women ― African American women working full time, year round make less than white, non-Hispanic men.
In agreement with Tracy Chadwell, “Women don’t need special treatment and higher wages because they’re women and have been historically oppressed. What they need is a level playing field, where everyone knows the score and is being judged by the same set of rules — and that’s exactly what an open pay policy can bring.”
The EqualPay Act requires that men and women be given equal pay for equal work in the same establishment. The jobs need not be identical, but they must be substantially equal. Know your rights and responsibilities under the EPA.