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Wage Gap

One Step Closer to Passing the Paycheck Fairness Act

Today the Senate, by a vote of 73-25, agreed to move on to a full debate of the Paycheck Fairness Act (PFA). But we’re not at the finish line just yet—in fact, we’re far from it. There will be another procedural vote before the Senate finally gets to the point and hopefully passes PFA.

Passing PFA would make a big difference for working women. Here’s how: Read more »

Closing the Wage Gap at Gap

Equal pay is achievable – just ask Gap Inc. Earlier this week the company announced that that it is paying men and women equally for work on the same jobs. It worked with a consulting firm to evaluate its pay practices and confirm pay parity between the sexes. The company also revealed that it is ahead of the curve in terms of its numbers of women in leadership positions.

Gap’s success in maintaining equal pay is all the more striking when you consider that women working in the retail sector as a whole experienced a 32 cent wage gap compared to their male counterparts in 2011. This gap for the retail sector is much larger than the overall wage gap between men and women. Read more »

Montana State Government Leads the Way on Equal Pay with Self-Evaluation of Employee Compensation

There is both good news and bad news for women who work for the state of Montana.

Last week the state released the results of a pay equity audit [PDF] that was conducted by the executive branch of the state government – an in-depth analysis of pay practices to understand and identify possible solutions to gender-based pay disparities. The audit found that the female state government employees covered by the pay audit earned on average approximately 86 percent of what male state government employees earned. Read more »

Women’s Economic Opportunities: We’ve Come a Long Way, But We’re Not There Yet

A friend of mine is bringing a group of middle schoolers to D.C. next month for a field trip about inequality and social justice. She asked if I knew of any good resources about the economic challenges women face. As it turns out, yes. Yes, I do.

From poverty and low-wage work to retirement savings, women face unique obstacles in providing for themselves and their families in the United States. Earlier this week, the Senate Budget Committee held a hearing on expanding economic opportunities for women and, with Senator Patty Murray leading the way, the conversation focused on the valuable contributions women have made to the economic security of their families and their country – and the need to remove barriers that still lie in the way. Read more »

How Jill Abramson Brings the Equal Pay Conversation to the New York Times

Since Wednesday this week, media sources have been asking why Jill Abramson was fired from her job as executive editor of the New York Times. Articles suggest that Abramson discovered that her pay and pension benefits were significantly less than the pay and pension benefits of the male editors who held both the executive editor and managing editors roles before her. Abramson raised her unequal pay with the higher ups, and according to sources, was then fired a few weeks later. Read more »

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

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.