Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Today is the day of the year when women’s aggregate wages catch up to men’s aggregate wages from the previous year, and many groups are blogging for fair pay today and speaking out about pay equity. Here is an example from Business and Professional Women/USA:
Over a lifetime of work this loss adds up. On average, the families of working women lose out on $9,575 per year because of the earnings gap. Women may lose $434,000 in income, on average, due to the career wage gap. Women at all education levels lose significant amounts of income due to the career wage gap, but women with the most education lose the most in earnings. Women with a college degree or higher lose $713,000 over a 40-year period versus a $270,000 loss for women who did not finish high school. Women lose hundreds of thousands of dollars from the career wage gap no matter where they live.
Forty-six years after President John F. Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act ensuring “equal pay for equal work,” women working full time earn on average 22% less than their male counterparts. This is a marked improvement over the 59 cents a woman was paid on the dollar in 1963, when the Equal Pay Act was passed. But it is clearly still too far from true economic and social equality. The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, signed into law on January 23, 2009, ensures that victims of discrimination have fair access to the courts, but additional legislation is needed to close the persistent gap between men’s and women’s wages.
BPW and other women's groups like the National Women's Law Center are advocating passage of the Paycheck Fairness Act, (HR 12, S 182), which passed the house on January 9, 2009 as part of the House version of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, and which is on the Senate calendar.