Imagine you work a job alongside someone who has less experience than you but still makes more money. Years go by and you look back on a lifetime of work and realize you lost hundreds of thousands of dollars in earnings. Read more »
Imagine what it would feel like if you hadn’t gotten a raise in over five years. Well, that’s the reality for our country’s minimum wage workers. Read more »
Negotiating a fair starting salary is crucial because it helps determine future raises and bonuses. But gender bias and stereotypes create treacherous backlash for women at work. So how do you make sure you get paid what you’re worth? Read more »
Nearly 40 million people are saddled with student loan debt, totaling nearly $1.2 trillion in loans. Though debt is a crisis for all students, the burden falls even harder on women because of the persistent gender pay gap. Read more »
Melissa took a job in city government and found that the description was rewritten after her predecessor left. “They told me it was because I didn’t have planning credentials, but I have always wondered if they didn’t rewrite it so they could justify the lower wage.” Read more »
Eileen deHaro found out she was paid less than a male colleague — whom she had trained for the job — because he had a family. Yet so did she. Read more »
Updated September 22, 2014: The U.S. Census Bureau released the latest wage data last week. A new analysis of the numbers shows that the gender pay gap for Hispanic/Latina women and Asian American has improved by a mere 3 cents each. The numbers below and the Equal Pay Day for Hispanic/Latina women have been updated to reflect this change. The updated analysis also reflects a widened pay gap for American Indian and Alaska Native women and Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander women, which stood at 60 percent and 66 percent respectively in 2012.
In my former life as a journalist, one of the first rules I learned was to look at a story from every angle. After all, an issue is never one-dimensional. The same is true about the gender pay gap — and AAUW knows this.
We’ve looked at the gender pay gap among women of different races/ethnicities and education levels; in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields; between men and women just one year out of college; in different states and congressional districts; and yes, even among NCAA basketball coaches.
Yet despite this in-depth research, some media outlets still have a hard time getting past the widely reported 77 percent statistic. This statistic is the basis for Equal Pay Day, which symbolically represents the day when women’s earnings catch up to men’s earnings from the previous year. But an Equal Pay Day based on the 77 cent statistic doesn’t tell the whole story of the gender pay gap.
That’s why we’re joining with other organizations fighting gender pay discrimination to mark a few other Equal Pay Days this year:
- Thursday, June 12 —The symbolic day when moms’ earnings catch up to fathers’ earnings from the previous year. It takes an extra six months since working mothers typically earn 69 cents for every dollar working fathers earn.
- Sunday, July 20 — The symbolic day when African American women’s earnings catch up to non-Hispanic white men’s earnings from the previous year. Because non-Hispanic white men are the largest demographic group in the labor force, they are often used to provide a single benchmark when examining the gender pay gap. Compared with white men, African American women typically make 64 cents on the dollar.
- Wednesday, October 8 — The symbolic day when Hispanic/Latina women’s earnings catch up to non-Hispanic white men’s earnings from the previous year. Yes, you read that right — Latinas have to work 10 months into the year to catch up to what white men made in the previous year! That’s because Latina women typically make 56 cents to the dollar when compared with white, non-Hispanic men.
We know that these three dates alone still do not capture every dimension of the gender pay gap. As AAUW’s research has shown, women of every race/ethnicity experience a gender pay gap compared with white, non-Hispanic men: American Indian and Alaska Native women (59 percent); Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander women (65 percent); white, non-Hispanic women (78 percent); and Asian American women (90 percent).
Moreover, women with disabilities working full time, year round typically earn 67 percent of what men without disabilities earn and 82.5 percent of what men with disabilities earn. Data on sexual orientation and gender identity is harder to come by, but studies have found that lesbian workers earn less than heterosexual and gay men, and transgender women experience a significant drop in earnings after a gender transition.
The point of these statistics is not to get you down; rather, we need to understand that the gender pay gap is a multi-faceted problem in need of a multi-faceted solution. Part of that solution is raising awareness about gender pay discrimination and advocating for legislation to end it — and the upcoming Equal Pay Days are excellent opportunities for action.
Check out the following resources to help you mark one, two, or all of these Equal Pay Days:
- A full set of how-to resources for advocacy activities such as cake deliveries, rallies, letters to the editor, tabling, petitions, house meetings, and more!
- Sample language for your governor, mayor, and/or city council to proclaim Equal Pay Day in your community
- Quick summaries of past Equal Pay Day successes
- AAUW Quick Facts on the Gender Pay Gap
You may have noticed that the gender pay gap varies — in some cases dramatically — from state to state. But do you know why?
Changing the pay gap begins with you.
I left the employer who underpaid me long ago, but the damage done by the thousands of dollars I lost to the gender pay gap sticks with me.
AAUW’s Lisa Maatz was at the White House to watch in person as President Barack Obama signed two executive orders that will help address the gender pay gap. Read more »
Negotiating a salary can be intimidating, but it’s critical for future raises and retirement. Here are five tips to get you started. Read more »