Hey ladies! Did you know that today, April 28th marks the day in 2009 when the average woman’s wages will finally catch up with those paid to the average man in 2008? Congrats! We made it!
Now let’s forget about the fact that the guys now have an almost five month head start on 2009 wages. Instead let’s look at the facts on why today is significant:
In 2007, women’s median annual paychecks reflected only 78 cents for every $1.00 earned by men. Specifically for women of color, the gap is even wider: In comparison to men’s dollar, African American women earn only 69 cents and Latinas just 59 cents.
According to the AFL-CIO’s Department of Professional Employees, on average the families of working women lose out on $9,575 per year because of the earnings gap. Want to know what you are worth?
Oh yes, President Obama signed the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, but that was just half of the deal. The sister bill to the Fair Pay Act is the Paycheck Fairness Act:
The Paycheck Fairness Act (H.R.12 and S.182) was introduced January 2009 by then-Senator Hillary Clinton and Rep. Rosa DeLauro to strengthen the Equal Pay Act of 1963. The bill expands damages under the Equal Pay Act and amends its very broad fourth affirmative defense. In addition, the Paycheck Fairness Act calls for a study of data collected by the EEOC and proposes voluntary guidelines to show employers how to evaluate jobs with the goal of eliminating unfair disparities. The bill was passed by the House of Representatives on January 9, 2009.
AAUW is asking everyone to wear red today to highlight the issue. Personally, I go with green for the money we’re losing out on and to support eco-friendly clothing, but alas I guess not everyone looks good in green. There are those who believe that the wage gap is due to “women’s choices” like having children or even taking time off to care for said children or eldery loved ones. In 2007 AAUW released a report that shows women have a wage gap one year out of college — thus not kid or famliy related. It’s a quick read, take a moment and dive right in.
Hopefully this will be the last year we have to mark this day.