Today, on Equal Pay Day, women are joining together to build momentum behind the push for equal pay in our country. While it took decades to see progress, there is significant support for this issue in 2014 from people across America, and from The White House. Take a look at how far we’ve come:
- In 1963, women were paid 59 cents for every dollar paid to their male counterparts, equaling a 41-cent wage gap.
- In 2011, women were paid 77 cents for every dollar paid to their male counterparts.
Five decades later and women still lack equal pay for equal work.
Women in North Carolina fare a little better than the national average, making $0.82 on every dollar a man earns. But that number plummets when it comes to women of color with African-American women making $0.64 and Latinas making just $0.48.
We can do better. And research shows that voters want better.
Nearly half of likely 2014 voters believe that the wage gap has a major impact on the U.S. economy as a whole. Voters want to end discrimination in the workplace, and they support measures that would close the wage gap – including the Paycheck Fairness Act.
According to American Women, 25 states will debate a variety of bills designed to eliminate gender discrimination in pay this year. Equal Pay will also receive a national spotlight today in Congress with a scheduled vote on the Paycheck Fairness Act. This bill would require the Department of Labor to work with employers to eliminate pay disparities between men and women. It would also create grant programs that provide trainings to women on negotiating skills.
President Obama will spend time today signing two different executive orders that encourage Equal Pay. Both are hoped to encourage pay transparency across the country.
There is a lot happening in Washington – and you can help. American Women just released a “Conversation Guide” on Equal Pay. It was designed to explain the best ways to engage women and their families in this national discussion on equal pay. This toolkit is a one-stop resource for people who want to join the conversation and move the issue of equal pay forward in our communities.
Here are some top tips from American Women’s Equal Pay Conversation Guide:
- Start conversations about equal pay.
- Talk about pay discrimination impacting women and their families, not just women.
- Make the point our lives have changed, but the workplace has not kept up.
- After defining the problem, talk about the solution.
- The solution? Change policies by letting Washington and people in your community know that you care about equal pay.
Read the full guide here and join the movement for equal pay for equal work – because when women do better, we all do better.
Want to get more involved with this issue?
Join tonight’s Equal Pay Day call and hear about the two new executive actions President Obama hopes will strengthen enforcement of equal pay laws for women.
Please join U.S. Secretary of Labor, Tom Perez, Executive Director of the White House Council on Women & Girls, Tina Tchen and other special guests, for a conference call update to learn more and hear about important next steps, including the White House Summit on Working Families.
When: Tuesday, April 8th
Time: 6:00PM Eastern
Call Instructions: Please click here, to receive your dial-in and unique call code. (Please write this information down and keep it with you!)
On Twitter?: Use hashtags #equalpayday2014 and #NCwomen, and mention your involvement with @WomenAdvanceNC.
Please feel free to send this to your friends and networks.