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from Joan Hawxhurst

Equal Pay Day

April 11, 2016 at 8:07 am
By Joan Hawxhurst

Tomorrow, on April 12, people across the United States will observe Equal Pay Day, the day each year that symbolizes on average how far into the year women must work to earn what their male counterparts earned in the previous year.

The gender wage gap has been a problem in North America for years, but it has only recently become part of our national conversation. Last fall, new data was released by the U.S. Census Bureau announcing women are on average paid 79 cents to every dollar paid to men. That number has barely budged in a decade: at the current rate of change, women will not reach full pay equity until the year 2059.

Since women account for 47 percent of the U.S. labor force and hold 49.3 percent of jobs (women are more likely to hold two or more jobs and they are less likely to be self-employed), the wage gap has significant consequences. Based on today’s wage gap, women on average lose $430,480 over the course of a 40-year career.

The disparity is even worse for women of color: African American women are paid only 60 cents and Latinas are paid a mere 55 cents for every dollar paid to white non-Hispanic males. Pay equity also varies by state, ranging from 65 cents to every dollar in Louisiana to 90 cents for every dollar in Washington, D.C. See the gender wage gap by state.

To bring attention to the gender wage gap, a number of organizations across the country are taking part in a “Red Out” on Tuesday, April 12, encouraging people to wear red as a symbol of how far women are “in the red” with their pay.

Staff of the CCPD will wear red tomorrow and post our photo on the CCPD Facebook page. We’ll also encourage students with job offers to work with CCPD career counselors to research industry salary numbers and to practice salary negotiation.

Students can make appointments with CCPD career counselors by calling 337-7183 or stopping by the reception desk in the CCPD/CIP Resource Room in Dewing Hall during business hours.

Following are some additional resources on the gender pay gap:

American Association of University Women:
http://www.aauw.org/resource/how-to-equal-pay-day/

The White House:
https://www.whitehouse.gov/equal-pay/career#top

Council of Economic Advisors 2015 Facts:
https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/docs/equal_pay_issue_brief_final.pdf