Last year I had the pleasure of meeting AnnMarie Duchon. She testified before the House Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee that after learning she was being paid unfairly she was able to confirm the information with her coworkers and negotiate with her boss for a salary increase. Pretty impressive, right?
But unfortunately, the conversations had by AnnMarie would be banned in a lot of workplaces. In fact, a 2010 IWPR poll found that around half of private sector workers believe that they cannot share their salaries.
Policies and practices that keep women in the dark about pay disparities diminish their ability to enforce their rights to fair pay and allow unfair pay practices to flourish. My best evidence? Lilly Ledbetter. Goodyear, a federal contractor, had one of these insane punitive pay secrecy policies and Lilly Ledbetter worked there almost 20 years before learning that she was being paid less than her male coworkers. In case you’re counting, the money she lost not only hurt her ability to pay for basics like groceries and utilities, she is still losing money to this day because the discriminatory pay is reflected in her retirement. Read more »
April 9 is Equal Pay Day, representing the date in 2013 through which women must work to match what men earned in 2012, thanks to the persistent gap between men’s and women’s median earnings. Women working full time, year round in the United States are paid just 77 cents for every dollar paid to their male counterparts, and the gap is even wider for women of color; black women working full time, year round are paid only 64 cents, and Hispanic women only 55 cents, for every dollar paid to their white, non-Hispanic male counterparts.
Women are nearly two thirds of minimum wage earners in the United States today and represent a large majority in most of the ten largest low-paying occupations. Women’s concentration in such low-wage jobs is one of the reasons women still typically earn less than men. A woman working full time at the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour makes just $14,500 in a year – thousands of dollars below the poverty line for a mom with two kids. Pay for tipped workers – like restaurant servers, who are about 70 percent women – can be even lower: the federal tipped minimum cash wage has been frozen at just $2.13 per hour for more than 20 years. Read more »
Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you probably know that the wage gap in the U.S. hasn’t budged in the last decade, and that women still get paid 77 cents, on average, for every dollar paid to a man. One southwestern state is taking the lead on closing this gap. New Mexico – the Land of Enchantment – is the home of the yucca flower, the black bear, thriving Hispanic culture, and now groundbreaking fair pay legislation!
In New Mexico, women typically make only 79 cents for every dollar a man makes. African American and Hispanic women do considerably worse: at 60 cents and 53 cents, respectively. In an effort to close this gap, Governor Susana Martinez of New Mexico signed the Fair Pay for Women Act into law on March 16, 2013. Read more »
To mark Equal Pay Day, NWLC's Fatima Goss Graves, Vice President for Education and Employment, and Becka Wall, Program Assistant for Communications sat down for a chat on the success we've had on equal pay – and what we need to do next.
Becka: Hi, Fatima! Thanks so much for sitting and chatting with me about Equal Pay. I feel like this has been such a long and uphill battle. Where does the fight for equal pay stand right now?
Fatima: Since we passed the Equal Pay Act, the wage gap has narrowed by 18 cents. And there has been some clear progress – no longer will you see separate gender-based pay classifications, for example. But the wage gap has not budged for a decade, so there is serious work to do.
Fifty years since the passing of the Equal Pay Act is a great time to look at where we are – assess how far we’ve come, and how far we have to go.
Becka: What are some of the major causes that contribute to the issue of unequal pay?
Fatima: Women are still paid less for the same job, and it’s impossible in some spaces to get salary information. Some workplaces actual ban women from talking about their own wages. Women are concentrated in occupations that pay less. There are also a number of barriers to higher, paid traditionally male jobs. And there is a continuing penalty for caregivers – studies have shown that women who are mothers are paid less than men who are fathers. Read more »
Today is Equal Pay Day! These days, women still make just 77 cents for every dollar a man makes, adding up to nearly $11,000 in lost wages every year. So this year we asked bloggers to answer the question, “What would you do with your $11,000 in lost wages?”
After the jump, you’ll find links to blog posts from NWLC staff members and from our participants. Keep checking back here for the latest posts!
p.s. Are you on Twitter? Join us at 1:00pm ET for a tweetchat on equal pay and the wage gap. Our official chat hashtag is #TalkPay, and we’ll be joined by Lilly Ledbetter and other special guests! Read more »
This is also a big birthday year – something actually worth celebrating – the Equal Pay Act turns 50 in June! But on the eve of that happy occasion, here’s another downer: As reported in The Wage Gap by State for Women Overall, 50 years in, the wage gap is still going strong all across the U.S.
Calling all bloggers! On Equal Pay Day – April 9, 2013 – the National Women’s Law Center will be hosting our annual Blog for Equal Pay Day blog carnival. And we want you to participate!
This June, it will be 50 years since President Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act into law. And today, women stillmake just 77 cents for every dollar a man makes — that's nearly $11,000 in lost wages every year.
That’s why we’re asking bloggers to participate in this year’s Blog for Equal Pay Day byanswering the question, “What would you do with your $11,000 in lost wages?” in your blog posts, but you’re also welcome to choose an alternative topic. Please feel free to include policy analysis, personal experiences, reports, graphs, etc in your blog posts as well!
NWLC will collect and publish links to the blog posts on Equal Pay Day (April 9, 2013). Click through for all the details you need to get involved in the blog carnival. Read more »
I write an awful lot about why it’s so important for women to raise the federal minimum wage, so I’m especially excited to head to Capitol Hill today for a press conference on the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2013, which Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Representative George Miller (D-CA) will introduce at noon. Introducing this crucial legislation is an essential first step towards fairer pay for millions of women across the country.
The Fair Minimum Wage Act would gradually raise the minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 per hour, increase the minimum cash wage for tipped workers from $2.13 per hour to 70 percent of the regular minimum wage, and index these wages to keep up with inflation. Women especially stand to benefit from this proposal because they are about two-thirds of workers earning the federal minimum wage or less – and they are the majority of workers in the ten largest occupations that typically pay less than $10.10 per hour. As new analysis from NWLC shows, women are at least two-thirds of the workforce in seven of those ten occupations:
Women’s concentration in such low-wage jobs is one of the reasons we still see a large gap between women’s and men’s typical earnings: American women who work full time, year round are paid only 77 cents for every dollar paid to their male counterparts, and the wage gap is even wider for women of color. Read more »
I’ve been a longtime fan of the USA network TV show Suits – it’s set at a (fictional) law firm in New York, Pearson Hardman, and focuses on the exploits of a witty college dropout who has never been to law school and the firm partner who had the audacity to hire him as an associate. Last Thursday night’s episode featured Pearson Hardman taking on a class action lawsuit accusing a fictional company, Folsom Foods, of gender discrimination: they failed to promote qualified women. One of the lawyers on the case noticed that when women were denied for promotions, the company used the following descriptors to justify the choice: “high-strung,” “sensitive,” “aggressive,” and “abrasive.” These women were being passed over for promotions for reasons unrelated to their performance or their ability to fulfill their job responsibilities – but rather due to stereotypes about women in the workplace. Read more »