April 12, 2011
Equal Pay Day?
Women are still being paid less than 80 cents for every dollar a man makes, according to recent reports. In acknowledgment of Equal Pay Day, PINK takes a look back at the wage gap – and what we can do about it.
Women first began working outside the home in mass numbers in 1942 when World War II took men out of factory jobs. The National War Labor Board guaranteed that women would earn the same as men doing similar jobs. When the war ended, women lost their positions and equal pay vanished.
In 1963, John F. Kennedy enacted the Equal Pay Act. At that time, women earned 59 cents to the dollar. That means in 47 years, the wage gap has closed at a rate
of ess than half a penny a year. The pay gap has made headlines recently with the Walmart wage discrimination suit at the U.S. Supreme Court.
“While women are still working hard to gain a foothold, there are resources available for women in the workforce,” says IBM Master Inventor Pam Nesbitt. How can you try to keep this from repeating in your office?
Find a sponsor, rather than a mentor, who will put your name out there, volunteer you for key projects and advise you about pay.
If you ask around and find out you’re making significantly less than those around you, speak up. Research the earnings in your field and know your value and contributions to the company.
Join together with other women by wearing red today to show that women are “in the red,” and ready to do something about it!
Bonus PINK Link: Equality is a work in progress. Take a look at the gender shift.
By Malee Moua
"I want for myself what I want for other women: absolute equality." Agnes Macphail