Today, April 14, 2015 is Equal Pay Day, which marks the point in the present year when women earn the same amount as men did in the previous year. Here at home, the local Lean In DC Circle is working with local businesses to give women a 22 percent discount. People are ready to take action -- and with good reason!
Over 50 years after the Equal Pay Act in 1963, white women are paid 78 cents for every dollar a man earns. And that number dwindles even more for African American woman, at 64 cents, and 54 cents for Hispanic women, according to the American Association of University Women and the Census Bureau.
In a recent address to women at a Silicon Valley conference, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton remarked that, "our economy seems to be operating like it's 1955." Her assessment sounds hyperbolic, but the reality is that the wage gap really hasn't improved in over a decade. To put it in another perspective, we can think about how things will be in the future. How about... 43 years in the future?
According to a recent report by the Institute for Women's Policy Research (IWPR), if efforts to close the wage gap continue at the current rate, America will not reach pay parity until the year 2058. Forty three years seems like a pretty long time to wait to see if my grandchildren might live in a world with equal pay.
There is some good news: a number of states are passing progressive legislation that will help narrow the gap and ensure that women are appreciated -- and paid fairly -- for the work they do. The IWPR report also found that the wage gap for millennials is smaller than the average for all men and women, indicating a positive trend for the newest members of the workforce.
So what can you do right now to fight the wage gap? Take these six steps to help move the dial before I'm a great grandma!
- Educate Yourself. When you know what's going on, you'll be able to pass that information along to others. Spreading the word is half the battle. Plus, when it comes to advocating for yourself, it pays to be up to date with market data for you job. And with that in mind...
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