AAUW Report: Women Still Make 80 Cents on the Dollar

Calls for Pay Equity Laws and Launches Landmark Initiative to Train 10 Million Women in Salary Negotiations by 2022

WASHINGTON – To mark Equal Pay Day (April 10), the symbolic day when women’s earnings catch up to men’s from the previous year, the American Association of University Women (AAUW) is highlighting its bi-annual The Simple Truth about the Gender Pay Gap report, which finds women who work full time in the United States are paid just 80 percent of what men are paid, on average. The analysis finds the disparities are greater among Latinas (at 54 percent) and black women (at 63 percent) and range by state from a low of 70 percent in Louisiana and Utah to a high of 89 percent in New York. The report also documents that women enter the workforce at lower pay levels and have fewer opportunities for promotion and advancement into leadership positions throughout their careers.

“For too long, we’ve heard that women make 80 cents on the dollar compared to men, and the pay gap has only decreased by a nickel in the past 20 years,” said Kim Churches, chief executive officer of AAUW. “There’s no reason we shouldn’t be able to close the pay gap, and do it soon. At AAUW, we’re aiming to eliminate the gap by 2030.  It’s ambitious, but achievable, if we all take the right actions.”

This Equal Pay Day, AAUW calls for:

  • The federal government to reinstate the EEOC’s wage data collection, which was halted last year by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget.  Collecting wage data information is critical in order to identify and address gender and racial pay gaps in workplaces.
  • Congress to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act, to update and close loopholes in in the Equal Pay Act of 1963, as well as to pass other pieces of federal legislation that provide additional tools to close the wage gap.
  • Employers to commit to and implement fair pay best practices, such as conducting regular compensation analyses to ensure equal pay levels and internal equity, setting and publicizing pay ranges for positions, prohibiting the practice of asking job candidates for salary histories, which perpetuates a cycle of lower pay for women, adopting non-retaliation policies for discussing salary, and promoting more women into leadership roles.

AAUW has also announced a new commitment to train 10 million women through salary negotiations programs by 2022 through AAUW’s Work Smart program. The trainings will provide millions of women the skills they need to effectively understand their market worth — based on skills, experience, and accomplishments — and the tools and confidence to negotiate for it.  The organization has launched an e-learning interactive experience, It’s Negotiable: Salary Skill Builder, in partnership with LUNA® Bar, the first nutrition bar for women.  The skill builder focuses on helping individuals learn to identify and articulate personal value as one key aspect of negotiations.  Through April 14, as a continued effort to champion equality for all women and help them move toward closing the gender pay gap, LUNA Bar will donate 20 percent of sales, up to $100,000, to support AAUW’s salary negotiation programs.

“Training 10 million women to speak up for themselves – and to understand and articulate their value — will help accelerate change for women individually while also, collectively, building a bigger, broader movement to even the playing field for women in the workplace,” Churches added. “We are calling on mayors and governors across the country to join us and bring salary negotiation trainings to their communities.”

To date, AAUW’s Work Smart has already partnered with Boston, Tempe, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., Long Beach, and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to provide workshops in those communities.  And in fall 2018, AAUW’s Work Smart will be available online, which will be available at no cost and in English and Spanish.

Research has shown that the U.S. economy would produce additional income of more than $512.6 billion if women received equal pay and the number of working women living in poverty in half. A recent analysis by McKinsey found that $12 trillion could be added to the global GDP by 2025 with better workplace gender equity practices.

More information about AAUW’s salary negotiation workshops, including upcoming events in states and online, is available at https://salary.aauw.org/. More information on the pay gap and laws is available at www.aauw.org.


The American Association of University Women (AAUW) empowers women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy, and research. Our nonpartisan, nonprofit organization has more than 170,000 members and supporters across the United States, as well as 1,000 local branches and 800 college and university members. Since AAUW’s founding in 1881, our members have examined and taken positions on the fundamental issues of the day — educational, social, economic, and political. Learn more and join us at www.aauw.org.