April 4th, 2017
Equal Pay Day Pushes for Policy Action
In workplaces across America, women are wearing red to make a statement. A statement to acknowledge the 20 percent pay gap between males and females in the workplace. Today is Equal Pay Day, and the show of solidarity symbolizes women being “in the red” financially. Assuming a man and woman started the same job on Jan. 1, 2016, it would take the woman until April 4, 2017 to earn what the man made in calendar year 2016.
We’ve seen progress in closing the gender gap since the 1960s. But the current pace means that women won’t experience pay equity until 2059. This date, predicted by the American Association of University Women (AAUW), comes from earnings data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Since 2001, progress has been even more sluggish. The projected pay equity date is pushing out to 2152 if the more recent current rate sustains.
PUSHING FOR CHANGE
1) Legislative action.
2) Pay determination.
3) Data collection.
In June 2016, President Obama announced a pledge by 28 U.S. businesses to close the gender pay gap. By December 2016, more than 100 companies were honoring the pledge. Big household names such as Amazon, AT&T, PepsiCo and Yahoo were on board with the efforts.
At the moment, however, the Trump Administration has not yet signaled how it will take up the agenda. The current White House webpage devoted to the equal pay pledge offers a blank slate and says, “Thank you for your interest in this subject. Stay tuned as we continue to update.”
On the campaign trail in 2016, candidate Donald Trump said, “You’re going to make the same if you do as good a job.” During his confirmation hearing last month, Labor Secretary nominee Alexander Acosta commented, “Certainly gender discrimination, which includes pay discrimination, should not occur.”
In fact, a recent study found that employers who fail to address pay inequities will likely experience difficulty retaining workers of both genders.
Find out how your salary stacks up nationally and in your local job market by requesting Ajilon’s 2017 Salary Guide.