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© National Committee
on Pay Equity
 
 
   
Next Equal Pay Day: Tuesday, April 14, 2015
About Equal Pay Day
 
 

One Thing We Can Do
About It

Urge the Department of Labor to speed up work on developing a tool to collect data on salaries, wages, and other benefits earned by employees of federal contractors and subcontractors. This tool is essential to giving employees and employers the information they need to end pay discrimination, and it's essential to giving the Department of Labor the information it needs to make sure employers receiving our tax dollars are following the law.

See AAUW's "Two-Minute Activist" information about how to make your voice heard: Are your tax dollars supporting equal pay?

Wage gap narrows slightly
but statistically unchanged

Although the gender wage gap narrowed slightly in 2013, it still remains statistically unchanged. Women's earnings were 78.3 percent of men's in 2013, compared to 76.5 percent in 2012, according to Census statistics released September 18, 2014 based on the median earnings of all full-time, year-round workers. In 2013, men's earnings were $50,033 and women's were $39,157, a difference of $10,876.

In 2013, the earnings of African American women were $34,089, 68.1 percent of all men's earnings, a slight decrease from 68.6 percent in 2012, and Latinas' earnings were $30,209, 60.4 percent of all men's earnings, an increase from 57.5 percent in 2012. Asian American women's earnings of $42,335 were 84.6 percent of all men's earnings, a decrease from 92 percent in 2012. The National Committee on Pay Equity's The Wage Gap Over Time shows how little the wage gap has changed in this century.

The Institute for Women's Policy Research issued a new wage gap fact sheet at http://www.iwpr.org/publications/pubs/the-gender-wage-gap-2013/, noting that neither women’s nor men’s earnings significantly improved compared with 2012. “If the pace of change in the annual earnings ratio continues at the same rate as it has since 1960, it will take another 45 years, until 2058, for men and women to reach parity.”

While the gap between men's and women's wages has narrowed gradually over time, it has remained stagnant this century, as this graph from the Census Bureau shows (Total and Full-Time, Year-Round Workers With Earnings by Sex: 1967 to 2011, pdf). This illustrates more than ever the need to strengthen and update the Equal Pay Act of 1963 by passing the Paycheck Fairness Act.

 

AAUW's newest research report, Graduating to a Pay Gap, shows that a year after graduation from college, women are being paid only 82 percent of what their male colleagues are being paid - even though women are attending college at higher rates than men, graduating in greater numbers, and earning higher grades. The report also shows how the gender pay gap affects the student loan debt burden for women college graduates. 

Using data from an Education Department survey of about 15,000 college graduates via Web or telephone surveys, the researchers focused on those who graduated during the 2007-08 school year and studied what they earned in 2009. The women made only 82 percent of what the men made, with women making an average of $35,296 while men made an average of $42,918.  While some of the gap could be explained by factors such as career choice, when all variables were considered a 7 per cent gap remained. 

The report is an update of the 2007 AAUW report, Behind the Pay Gap, which found women being paid only 80 cents for every dollar men were paid a year after college graduation.

Pay gap exists just one year after college graduation

<< Report shows women made only 82 percent of what men made

  OFCCP Tackles Wage Discrimination

The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs of the Department of Labor has issued a 4-page fact sheet "Advancing Equal Pay Enforcement: More Effective and Transparent Procedures for Investigating Pay Discrimination" outlining its recent actions intended to identify and remedy wage discrimination.  

The Fight Goes On. Even though the Paycheck Fairness Act failed in the Senate on June 5, 2012 on a 52-47 procedural vote, we'll keep working to close the gender wage gap. (All Republicans voted not to consider the bill, while all Democrats and Independents voted for it; Sen Mark Kirk (R-IL) did not vote, and Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) changed his vote to enable him to bring up the bill again.) See vote count here. President Obama issued the following statement after the vote:

"This afternoon, Senate Republicans refused to allow an up-or-down vote on the Paycheck Fairness Act, a commonsense piece of legislation that would strengthen the Equal Pay Act and give women more tools to fight pay discrimination. It is incredibly disappointing that in this make-or-break moment for the middle class, Senate Republicans put partisan politics ahead of American women and their families. Despite the progress that has been made over the years, women continue to earn substantially less than men for performing the same work. My Administration will continue to fight for a woman’s right for equal pay for equal work, as we rebuild our economy so that hard work pays off, responsibility is rewarded, and every American gets a fair shot to succeed."

Both the Paycheck Fairness Act (S.84, H.R.377) and the Fair Pay Act (S.168, H.R.438) have been reintroduced in the 113th Congress. And the fight goes on.

As the National Women's Law Center shows in this video, the work of women isn't worth less.

Join the
Fair Pay Campaign to support pay equity legislation

The Fair Pay Campaign is led by the American Association of University Women, the Feminist Majority Foundation, Legal Momentum, the National Organization for Women, the National Partnership for Women and Families, and the National Women's Law Center, with 250 other local, state, and national groups -- including NCPE -- joining them.

Myth Busting the
Gender Pay Gap

A senior program advisor at the Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Program details and busts five myths about the gender wage gap.


President Obama Details Efforts
To Help Women Economically

At a White House Forum on Women and the Economy on April 6, 2012, President Obama announced the release of the new report by the White House Council on Women and Girls, "Keeping America's Women Moving Forward," that details the progress the administration has made in initiatives to help women economically. He also acknowledged the continued pay gap, saying, "Overall, a woman with a college degree doing the same work as a man will earn hundreds of thousands of dollars less over the course of her career." And in an op-ed last week, he emphasized the importance of fixing that, writing "Closing this pay gap -- ending this pay discrimination -- is about far more than simple fairness, it's about strengthening families, communities and our entire economy."

The White House released the Equal Pay Task Force Accomplishments Report: Fighting for Fair Pay in the Workplace (pdf). The report details the significant progress that the Task Force has made to fight pay discrimination – including improving inter-agency coordination and collaboration to ensure that the full weight of the federal government is focused on closing the gender pay gap once and for all. 

The Department of Labor’s Women’s Bureau published two brochures to educate employees regarding their rights under the existing equal pay laws and enable employers to understand their obligations:
>> A Guide to Women's Equal Pay Rights (pdf)
>> An Employer's Guide to Equal Pay (pdf)

Winners of the Equal Pay App Challenge The Department of Labor invited software developers to use publicly available data and resources to create applications for smart phones and other devices. The apps help provide access to basic information – e.g. typical salary ranges and skill level requirements for particular positions, advice on how to negotiate appropriate pay.

If we didn't have a wage gap, we wouldn't need this coupon!

<< NCPE's COUPON was featured in Jan-Feb 2005 Making Bread Magazine ("Female Finance" column on pages 20-23)!


White House Report Notes Wage Gap

A White House report released in March 2011, Women in America: Indicators of Social and Economic Well-Being, addresses women’s present role in family life, education, employment, health, and crime in American society. The report, which is the first of its kind in nearly 50 years, also challenges policymakers, researchers, and advocates to do more to further the collection of gender-specific data in the future. It notes that women's gains in education and increased participation in the labor force have not yet translated into wage and income equity; at all levels of education, women earned about 75 percent of what their male counterparts earned in 2009. (NOTE: the 75 percent figure applies only to workers aged 25 and older and is a special calculation of weekly median earnings data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.) Women are more likely to live in poverty than men, and the economic inequities for women of color are even greater.

Summary      Full report

Polling Data Shows Overwhelming Support
of Paycheck Fairness Act

In a 2010 nationwide poll of registered voters, 84% supported "a new law that would provide women more tools to get fair pay in the workplace." When poll respondents were told that the "law will also make it harder for employers to justify paying different wages for the same work and ensure that businesses that break the law compensate women fairly," 72% strongly supported such a law. This support was consistent across lines of gender, race, geographic regions, and political parties. See data from the National Partnership for Women & Families.

GAO Report on Gender Pay Differences

At a Nov. 3, 2011 press conference, Sen. Bob Casey, chairman of the Joint Economic Committee, and Rep. Carolyn Maloney, former JEC chair, discussed the findings of a new GAO report, “Gender Pay Differences: Progress Made, but Women Remain Overrepresented Among Low-wage Workers.” The report about low-wage and less-educated workers shows that even in low-wage jobs women, who make up the majority of low-wage workers, earn less than their male counterparts. NCPE Chair Michele Leber was one of the speakers at the press conference.

Updated September 19, 2014          National Committee on Pay Equity