Equal Pay Day calls attention to the persistent moral and economic injustice working women face. For a woman to earn as much as a man, she has to work a full year, plus more than a hundred extra days, all the way to April 10. The problem is even worse for women of color, LGBTQ women¬†and part-time workers.
Here are 11 things you need to know on Equal Pay Day:
1.¬†Equal Pay Day for women of color is even later: For black¬†women, Equal Pay Day comes later because they are paid, on average, even less than white women.¬†Equal Pay Day for black women is Aug. 7. For Native American women, it’s Sept. 7. For Latinas, it’s Nov. 1.
2.¬†LGBTQ women face a host of related problems: A woman in a same-sex couple makes 79% of what a straight, white man makes. Additionally, they face higher rates of unemployment, discrimination and harassment on the job.
3.¬†It will take decades to fix the problem if we don’t act now: If nothing changes, it will take until 2059 for women to reach pay equality. For black women, parity won’t come until 2124 and for Latinas, 2233.
4.¬†Fixing the wage gap will reduce poverty: The poverty rate for women would be cut in half if the wage gap were eliminated. Additionally, 25.8 million children would benefit from closing the gap.
5.¬†Fixing the wage gap would boost the economy: Eliminating the wage gap would increase women’s earnings by $512.6 billion, a 2.8% boost to the country’s gross domestic product. Women are consumers and the bulk of this new income would be injected directly into the economy.
6.¬†Women aren’t paid less because they choose to work in low-paying jobs: The gender pay gap persists in nearly every occupation, regardless of race, ethnicity, education, age¬†and location.
7.¬†Education alone isn’t the solution: Women are paid less at every level of education. Women with advanced degrees get paid less than men with bachelor’s degrees.
8.¬†The Paycheck Fairness Act would help: This bipartisan legislation would close loopholes in existing law, break harmful patterns of pay discrimination¬†and strengthen protections for women workers.
9.¬†Being in¬†union makes a difference: Women who are represented by unions and negotiate together are closer to pay equality, making 94 cents per dollar that¬†white men make.
10.¬†Business leaders have a role in the solution: Individual business owners and leaders have the power to close the pay gap and improve people’s lives. Catalyst offers five tips on what business leaders can do.
11.¬†Many companies already are working on solutions:¬†Learn from them.