Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Closing the Gap: Equal Pay Day

As many of you know, today is Equal Pay Day, a sobering day to recognize the differences in salary between men and women. According to the National Organization for Women, women's median annual paychecks reflected only 78 cents for every $1.00 earned by men in 2007. Oof!

Check out the facts:

• Women's median pay was less than men's in each and every one of the 20 industries and 25 occupation groups surveyed by the U.S. Census Bureau in 2007. Even men working in female-dominated occupations tend to earn more than women working in those same occupations.

• According to the Institute for Women's Policy Research (IWPR), if equal pay for women were instituted immediately, across the board, it would result in an annual $319 billion gain nationally for women and their families (in 2008 dollars). Over her working life, a typical woman could expect to gain a total of $210,000 in additional income if equal pay were the norm (these numbers include part-time workers).

• One year after graduating college, women are paid on average only 80 percent of their male counterparts' wages, and during the next 10 years, women's wages fall even further behind, dropping to only 69 percent of men's earnings ten years after college.

Feel like punching a man in the face to protest this economical injustice? Do something constructive instead and encourage your representatives to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act and send it to the WH for the president's signature.

The Paycheck Fairness Act would require employers to show that any disparity in pay between men and women were due to factors other than gender and would bring the Equal Pay Act in line with other civil rights laws banning job discrimination.

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