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Wage Gap

Today Isn't Equal Pay Day for All Women

Today is finally Equal Pay Day– the day women have to work into 2014 (in addition to everything they earned in 2013) to earn what men made in 2013. While hardly cause for celebration, at least we finally got there, right?

Not so fast. While women overall reach Equal Pay Day in April, women of color still have a long way to go. That's because the wage gaps for women of color are substantially wider than for women overall: women overall working full time, year round typically make only 77 percent of what their male counterparts make – for African-American women compared to white, non-Hispanic men this figure is 64 cents – and for Hispanic women it's only 54 cents. Read more »

Women in Low-Wage Jobs Deserve Equal Pay for Equal Work

It should be startling that even in the ten largest jobs that pay very low wages –$10.10 an hour or less – women still see a 10 cent gender wage gap on the dollar.* And this is despite the fact that women make up more than three-quarters of the workers in these jobs.

Across the income spectrum, the wage gap hurts women and families. But women in low-wage jobs can least afford it. They are already making do with less. They shouldn’t have to make do with pay discrimination too.

Mothers with children under 18 make up nearly one-quarter of these workers, although they make up just over 16 percent of workers overall.  In 2011, 40 percent of households with children under 18 had a mother as the primary breadwinner—and two-thirds of those households were led by single mothers with a median family income of just $23,000.  These hardworking breadwinner moms and their families deserve equal pay for equal work. Read more »

Welcome to the Wage Gap Cafe

On average, women make 77 cents for every dollar that men make. That amounts to $11,000 per year in lost wages  – no small chunk of change.  For many women, this means sometimes having to choose between buying enough groceries and going to the doctor or between paying this month's rent and that college loan. Some have a harder time getting the picture, so I’m going break it down for those of you who can’t quite visualize the difference 23 cents makes.

What if you went into a restaurant and someone took a few bites out of whatever deliciousness you ordered – and they ate about 23% of it. You would get pretty mad, right?

Imagine if someone just took a chunk out of your…

Pizza: Oh, I’m sorry – I didn’t see your female parts there. This is the “woman sized” slice of pizza. After all – you don’t need a whole slice, do you? That would just be greedy. Read more »

Equal Pay Week 2014 — The Blog Posts

Tuesday, April 8th is Equal Pay Day. It represents the day that the average woman's wages finally catch up to the average man's earnings from the year before. You read that right: we had to work three extra months into 2014 before women’s wages were as much as men’s were at the close of 2013.

The sad fact is that the wage gap needs all the attention it can get. That’s why we are taking the time to raise awareness. Below, we’ve compiled links to blog posts from NWLC staff as well as partners and participants, addressing why it’s so important to discuss — and push for — equal pay. We’ll continue to update this page as more posts come in, so keep checking in! And to learn more about Equal Pay Week and the wage gap, click over to our resource page.

If you have a blog post you’d like to submit for Equal Pay Week, email it to khegarty@nwlc.org.

Read more »

The Sweet Reality of a 23 Cent per Hour Raise

Women only make 77 cents for every dollar that a man makes. Big deal?

The biggest.

Twenty-three cents may not sound like much, but for me, that change would add up – and it would have a meaningful impact.  Here’s how:

  • With a 23-cent raise for every dollar I earn, I could pay off my student loans in less than two years, compared with the 7 years that it will take me now. But I’m not all business. Maybe I wouldn’t spend the entire raise on student loans – maybe I’d eat out somewhere nice, treat myself to a new book, or buy a train ticket for a weekend away. Even if I spent just half of this increased income repaying my loan debt, it would shave off four years of monthly payments. And if I wanted to be the responsible adult my parents keep telling me to be, I could forgo (some of) that fun and use the other half to put away monthly retirement savings, something I cannot currently afford to do.

The State of States and Equal Pay in 2014

This Tuesday, April 8th is Equal Pay Day—the day women would have to work until (in addition to working all of 2013!) to make the same amount of money that men made in 2013. We all know that nationally, women working full time, year round typically make 77 cents for every dollar paid to their male counterparts, and the figure hasn’t budged in a decade. You should also know that the wage gap is even worse for women of color—African-American women working full time, year round make only 64 cents, and Hispanic women make only 54 cents, for every dollar paid to their white, non-Hispanic male counterparts.

The national wage gap figures grab headlines but what’s less talked about is the variability in the wage gap by state. For example, in D.C. women working full time, year round make 90 cents for every dollar paid to men (which puts DC at #1 in terms of women’s pay equity), but in Wyoming women make only 64 percent of what men make (#51).

States that have smaller wage gaps for women overall don’t necessarily have smaller wage gaps for all groups of women, and there are some stark differences for women of color. Again looking at our nation’s capital, African-American women in D.C. make only 56 cents for every dollar paid to white, non-Hispanic men, which makes DC the 4th worst state in the country for African-American women’s pay equity. Similarly, in California women overall make 84 percent of what men make (putting California at #6 in women’s pay equity), but Hispanic women in California make only 44 percent of white, non-Hispanic men—making California the 2nd worst state in the country for Hispanic women’s pay equity.  Read more »

Equal Pay Week 2014 — Resources

American women who work full-time, year-round are paid only 77 cents for every dollar paid to their male counterparts.  We're working to reduce this wage gap and to ensure that male and female employees get equal pay and benefits for comparable work.  The Paycheck Fairness Act is a commonsense bill that would give workers stronger tools to combat wage discrimination, bar retaliation against workers for discussing salary information, and ensure full compensation for victims of gender-based pay discrimination. 

Below is a list of resources you can use to educate yourself about equal pay, the wage gap, and the Paycheck Fairness Act. We will continue to add to this list between now and the end of Equal Pay Week (April 7-11, 2014), so keep checking back for more! And of course, be sure to read our blog posts on this topic — from NWLC staff and our partners. Read more »

Equal Pay Takes Center Stage in Congress

Today the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee of the U.S. Senate took up the issue of how to ensure that all women receive equal pay for equal work. The Committee held a hearing on the Paycheck Fairness Act (PFA), a bill that will strengthen the federal Equal Pay Act and get at many of the root causes of the persistence of pay disparities.

Half a century after the Equal Pay Act was adopted, the typical woman still earns just 77 cents for each dollar a man earns for full-time work – and the situation is even worse for women of color. A gender wage gap persists even after taking account of factors like education and occupation. Too many women continue to be paid less for doing the same job, and performing it just as well, as a male colleague.

Here are just some of the critical things that the PFA will do to put an end to this discrimination and close the gender wage gap: Read more »

Connecticut Poised to Make History with $10.10 Minimum Wage

Why wait?

Connecticut Governor Dan Malloy made it clear last month that he thought it was time to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 – and he wasn’t interested in waiting for Congress to do it. Malloy pushed for Connecticut state legislators to pass a statewide increase, and now they’re poised to make history. The Senate and the House voted yesterday to approve a bill (SB-32) to increase the minimum wage to $10.10 by 2017, and Malloy has announced he’ll sign the bill today.

It’s a very good day to be a Nutmeg-er. (Connectican? Connecticut-er?) Read more »

White House: Raising the Minimum Wage and Tipped Minimum Wage Helps Close Wage Gap, Reduces Poverty

A new report  issued by the White House this morning provides more compelling evidence that raising the minimum wage is critical for advancing fair pay and economic security for women. The report evaluates the impact of the Fair Minimum Wage Act proposed by Senator Harkin (D-IA) and Representative Miller (D-CA) and, like the NWLC analysis of the proposal, finds that women would especially benefit from raising the minimum wage, now just $7.25 an hour, to $10.10 per hour, increasing the tipped minimum cash wage – now just $2.13 an hour – to 70 percent of the minimum wage, and indexing these wages for inflation.

Here are some key findings from the report: Read more »