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Equal Pay Day

Posted April 12th, 2016 at 3:04 pm (UTC-4)
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Equal pay for equal work. Sounds like a no-brainer policy. But Congress’ Joint Economic Committee estimates women earn 79-cents for every dollar a man makes.

While that’s an improvement from the 59-cents to the dollar women made when the Equal Pay Act was passed 53 years ago, the Committee’s estimates it will be another 43 years before women’s pay catch up to men’s.

April 12 is deemed Equal Pay Day because it’s how long women have to work into 2016 for their pay catches up to men’s 2015 pay. Earlier this month, several members of the U.S. women’s national soccer team filed a wage-discrimination suit, claiming they were paid a quarter of what the men were paid despite generating $20-million more than the men — and enjoying more success on the pitch.

President Obama marked Equal Pay Day by declaring a new national monument—the Sewall-Belmont House—which has been the headquarters for the National Women’s Party since 1929.

#EqualPayDay has been the most trending topic on Twitter. While the numbers are what they are, interpreting the numbers is subject to political parsing.

People carry bags reading 'equal pay day' during a protest a day before International Women's Day, in Bern, Germany March 7, 2015.  REUTERS

People carry bags reading ‘equal pay day’ during a protest a day before International Women’s Day, in Bern, Germany March 7, 2015. REUTERS

A Detailed Look at how Complex Equal Pay Day Really Is

Lydia Dishman – Fast Company

Andrew Chamberlain, Glassdoor’s chief economist, points out that in the company’s most recent study, the sorting of men and women into jobs and industries that pay differently throughout the economy explains 54% of the overall or “unadjusted” pay gap—by far the largest factor.

“Census figures show women make up only 26% of highly paid chief executives but 71% of low-paid cashiers,” he says. “By contrast, differences in education and experience between men and women explain only a small part of the pay gap.”

Equal Pay Day: What’s Really Causing the Gender Wage Gap and How to Fix It

Ashe Schow – Washington Examiner

The Belmont-Paul Women's Equality National Monument is located at what had been known as the Sewall-Belmont House, in the Capitol Hill neighborhood, in Washington, D.C.

The Belmont-Paul Women’s Equality National Monument is located at what had been known as the Sewall-Belmont House, in the Capitol Hill neighborhood, in Washington, D.C.

In order to calculate a 21-cent earnings gap, one must overlook that the average working woman works in a lower-paying field and works fewer hours each week than the average working man….

When it’s pointed out that the gap is due to women choosing different occupations, majors and number of hours worked, activists leap to a new argument, bizarrely claiming that women’s choices aren’t really their own….

Still, there are some things the government can do that would allow employers to get the best out of their employees and allow those employees to enjoy a better work-life balance. Most of these solutions, put forth by the conservative Independent Women’s Forum, actually involve getting the government out of the business of micromanaging American businesses.

Sure, Equal Pay Day Is About What’s in Women’s Paychecks. It’s Also About Fairness

Patricia Arquette – The Washington Post

The iconic Ozzie and Harriet family of dad at work and mom at home with two kids is no longer the norm. Three-fourths of all working-age women are now holding or seeking a job, including two-thirds of women with children under 18, and 40 percent of employed married women are their household’s prime wage earner.

Because women make less, we will wait longer than men to buy a house, and take longer to pay off student loans. Because job segregation and discrimination can steer women to lower-paying work in general, women are less likely to have health insurance, paid vacations or sick leave….

Employed mothers often face a “mommy penalty,” taking home less than women without children, while many fathers get a “daddy bonus,” making more than men without kids. An unmistakable double standard. But it doesn’t have to be this way.

A Man’s Guide to Celebrating Equal Pay Day

Dayna Evans – New York Magazine

Men, take some time today to think about how Equal Pay Day should be marketed toward you instead of toward women. Are you doing your part to make sure the women around you are actually getting paid fairly?

Do you hear complaints from your daughter, sister, mother, wife, or girlfriend about their unequal pay? Are you a manager of women who has a history of promoting men? Do you really understand the importance of paid family leave and workable child care?


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