National Women’s Equal Pay Day

(KFOR NEWS  March 24, 2021)   Wednesday is National Women’s Equal Pay Day, marks the day into the year on which it takes for women on average to earn what men did in 2020.  That’s 15 months!  Or, if you look at a typical 9:00-5:00 work day, women start working for free at 2:40 p.m.

82-cents is how much women in the U.S. who work full time, year round are paid for every dollar paid to men, but in service-industry jobs, Latina women earn just 67-cents.  Women in Nebraska make 80-cents on the dollar, while Black women are paid just 61-cents.  Some attribute the pay gap to data showing more women work in fields that pay less, while others note companies have historically paid men higher salaries because they were seen as family breadwinners.

Ariane Hegevisch with the Institute for Women’s Policy Research says women of color, many working on the front lines during the coronavirus pandemic, continue to be at the bottom of the pay gap.

Hegewisch points out most households today don’t have a single breadwinner, and notes of the 120 occupations studied, women face a wage gap regardless of their choice of occupation.  She says a majority of women surveyed support government action to close the gap, by helping women get and keep good-paying jobs in fields mostly populated by men, and by raising teacher salaries and the minimum wage.

Hegewisch thinks companies could be required to report pay data to an official agency, which would make it more difficult to ignore disparities. She adds as people are able to return to work after COVID-19, requiring companies to list salary ranges could also give women a better shot at having the same starting wage as men.

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