The Institute for Women’s Policy Research released important research this past week – the gender wage gap is projected to close! IN 2058. Does that make you furious? Because it should. It should make you furious because this year marks the 50th, let me repeat that, THE 50TH anniversary of the Equal Pay Act. In those fifty years, the gap has closed by a whopping 18 cents. On average today, women are paid about 77 cents for every dollar paid to men. The gap widens for women of color. In Michigan, women make about 73.8 cents for every dollar that men make, African American women tend to make 67.8 cents to every dollar of white man, and Hispanic women make 55.2 cents for every dollar a white man makes. This should enrage you, or at least make you think, “hmm, that’s weird.”
So, what can you do to help close the gap? Support the passage of the Paycheck Fairness Act. The Paycheck Fairness act would require employers to prove that pay disparities exist for real, job-related reasons, protect against retaliation for discussing salaries with colleagues, and more. Call your Senators and tell them to support and vote for this legislation, help them get the ball rolling. In addition, you can talk about these facts to friends, family, colleagues, and anyone. Talk about the facts.
Institute for Women’s Policy Research:
IWPR analysis of data from DeNavas-Walt, Carmen, Bernadette D. Proctor, and Jessica C. Smith. 2013. U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Reports, P60-245, Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2012, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC, Table A-4
National Women’s Law Center:
Overall figures calculated by NWLC are based on . Figures for African American women and Hispanic women calculated by NWLC are based on 2009-2011 American Community Survey Three-Year Estimates. State minimum wages from Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division, . Minimum wages for tipped workers are often lower.
The Paycheck Fairness Act:
"Fair Pay." Fair Pay. National Partnership for Women and Families, n.d. Web.