“Celebrating” Equal Pay Day

Today, April 2, 2019 is Equal Pay Day in the United States, which means that women have to work all the way until today in 2019 to earn what men did in 2018.

In other words, for every dollar a (white, non-Hispanic) man made in 2018, women earned just $0.80.

This is an average so unfortunately, many women have it even worse. Here’s a breakdown of Equal Pay Days***:

  • March 5, 2019: Asian-American Women ($0.85 for every dollar)

  • April 19, 2019: White Women ($0.77 for every dollar)

  • August 22, 2019: African-American/Black Women ( $0.61 for every dollar)

  • September 23, 2019: Native American Women ($0.58 for every dollar)

  • November 20, 2019: Latinas ( $0.53 for every dollar)

For mothers, Equal Pay Day arrives on June 10, 2019, who earn just $0.69 for every dollar a father earns.

The wage gap leaves women (and their families, communities, and businesses) with $10,169 less per year in median earnings. Even more devastating is that it’s not getting better, and we’ve seen very little change since 2007. These statistics aren’t worth celebrating, but Equal Pay Day is an opportunity to discuss how individuals, employers, and governments can all work to affect positive change. Here’s what we can do about it:

What we as individuals can do

  • Get involved with activists and labor protests to demand a living wage. Two-thirds of minimum wage workers are women, and an overwhelming majority are women of color.

  • Discuss pay with co-workers (and encourage other women to do the same). Pay transparency can level the playing field for women.

  • Ask for a raise! Do some research and talk with recruiters, friends and co-workers. Prepare and negotiate to get that raise!

  • Encourage (or even better, require) action from your employers.

  • Vote and elect government officials who will fight to close the gap.

What employers can do

  • Look for biases in your company and talk about it.

  • Conduct a pay audit. Analyze compensation by gender and race and address pay gaps accordingly.

  • Train hiring managers to understand the impact of gender bias on their decision-making.

  • Ensure women have equal opportunities for advancement. (Women typically receive less feedback, have less access to mentorship, get fewer high-profile assignments, and are burdened with a disproportionate amount of "office housework)."

What our government can do

  • Make the minimum wage a living wage.

  • Ensure access to quality and affordable reproductive health care and child care.

  • Provide paid family and medical leave.

  • Pass better & stronger equal pay laws that enable women to better fight for equal pay.

***Dates were taken from EqualPayToday.org and are based on 2017 U.S. Census data on median earnings for full-time, year-round workers. Because they are observances, adjustments may have been made to avoid weekends and holidays.