April 4th marks Equal Pay Day, bringing awareness to the differences in pay that exist between men and women in the current workforce.
Equal Pay Day began in 1996 as an endeavor by the National Committee on Pay Equity to bring to light the obvious discrepancies between men and women’s wages for the same positions, experience and time worked.
What Does It Mean for Women Today?
Although the gap has slowly narrowed, there are still large differences in wage gaps between women and men. On average women make 83 cents for every dollar a male counterpart might make.
Family dynamics in the U.S. have changed over the past few decades as well. “Mothers are (now) the primary or sole earners for 40% of households with children under 18 compared with 11% in 1960”.
This means that not only do they experience the repercussions of less pay but so do their families.
What Can We Do to Bridge the Gap?
On March 27th of this year, the 2014 Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces order enacted by former President Barack Obama was rescinded. Unfortunately, policy has a long way to go before any true progress is made and that’s why every bit of influence counts. Here’s how you can help:
- Contact your House Representative and Senators to discuss how important fair pay is to you and your loved ones.
- Have an Equal Pay Day activity in your community to raise awareness.
- Write a letter to an editor of your local newspaper describing the issue (sample letter in the link below) or use a sample proclamation to encourage the mayor of your city or the chair of your central labor body to endorse and publicize.
You can find these resources and more on the N.C.P.E.’s webpage.
National Committee on Pay Equity. (2017, January 17). Equal Pay Day Kit . Retrieved April 4, 2017, from National Committee on Pay Equity: https://www.pay-equity.org/index.html
U.S. Department of Labor . (2017, March 1). 12 Stats About Working Women. Retrieved April 4, 2017 , from U.S. Department of Labor Blog: https://blog.dol.gov/2017/03/01/12-stats-about-working-women
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