Did you know that the reason today is Equal Pay Day is because it marks the day in 2014 to which white women have to work to make equal pay to men’s 2013 salary? Yep, you read that correctly. Since white women, on average, make $0.77 to every $1.00 made by men, it will take us an additional THREE months to make what a man is making.
This is shocking, right? Doing the same job, with the same educational background, with the same qualifications… and still white women are making $0.77 on the dollar to men.
Even more shocking, the disparity gets worse based on the color of your skin. (I say shocking, but I really mean “it is absolutely distressing that in 2014, race continues to play a major role in access to employment and equal pay.”)
Take a look at the figures:
Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders made about 66 percent of what white men made.
African American women only made 64 percent.
American Indian and Alaska natives suffer from a 60 percent pay gap.
Hispanic and Latina women, who make up half of the dominant minority group in the US, made little more than half of what white men made, at just 53 percent.
Recently, President Obama made news when he announced his intent to sign an executive order banning federal contractors from retaliating against employees who discuss their compensation. This is a big deal because it allows for transparency in pay, a significant factor in creating pay equality. President Obama also announced his intent to sign a presidential memorandum instructing Labor Secretary Tom Perez to establish new regulations requiring federal contractors to submit summary data on compensation paid to their employees, particularly data including sex and race breakdowns, to the Department of Labor.
It will certainly take more than these narrow executive actions to ensure Equal Pay for all. That’s why I encourage you to contact your Senator and ask he/she to support Equal Pay legislation before the Senate. The AAUW has made it easy for you with this form. Check it out and help get us out of 1950’s.
For more resources on Equal Pay, be sure to check out the AAUW’s website here: http://www.aauw.org/tag/equal-pay/