You are a strong, hard working woman.
You may be an intern. You may be a personal assistant. You may be a creative director or a CEO. You work hard for your money and like Donna Summers sings in her hit song, they better treat you right. But girl, they don’t. No matter the title you hold, if you are a woman in 2017, you are not being paid the same amount as the man working beside you.
April is Financial Literacy Month and on April 4th it was Equal Pay Day.
So let’s talk about the truths of Equal Pay & why you need to give a damn.
What’s the big deal?
Other than the fact that women and men should be paid equally POINT BLANK PERIOD, the big deal is that the difference is a very big number: 80 percent. Did you know that is 2015, on average, women working full time were paid 80 percent of what men were paid? That’s a 20 percent pay gap. That’s a pay gap of $10,470 per year. We’re not talking nickels and dimes here. We’re talking thousands of dollars… and if you’re a Hispanic Woman, we’re talking over a million dollars in your lifetime.
Who is this affecting?
This pay gap affects every woman no matter what her background, age, or level of education may be. Although, Hispanic, Latina, African American, American Indian, Hawaiian and other native women are seeing lower median annual earnings. As stated before, on average women make 20 percent less than men while black women are making 37% less and Hispanic women are making 46% less. This is why you should give a damn.
The Women’s Institute of Policy Research says that the average woman will miss out on $530,000 and the average college-educated woman will miss out on $800,000. Jaw drop, much? It’s hard to believe, but it gets worse for our ladies of color. The average Hispanic woman will miss out on a million dollars. This is why you should give a damn.
Location, location, location.
There is the stunning national average and there is also a calculation of the pay gap percentage by state. Where does your state stack up? In 2015, New York and Delaware had the smallest pay gap of 89% while Wyoming had the largest pay gap of 64%. This is why you should give a damn.
Has there been any progress?
The last noticeable change in the pay gap took place during the 1970s when women truly begin to become involved in education and the workforce. This was also a time at which men’s pay rate slowed down. Unfortunately, change isn’t happening right now. In fact, it’s happening so slowly that it is barely noticeable – 1/10ths of a percent. If we keep the rate of change we’ve experienced since 1960 and 2015, we are expected to reach equal pay by 2059. Although, if change keeps the slow rate we’ve had since 2001, women will not reach pay equity until 2152. That’s right: 135 more years of unequal pay. This is why you should give a damn.
What can I do about it?
How are we supposed to get our money right if the ‘big guys’ can’t even pay us fairly? Head on over to the Fight for Fair Pay to read all about the ways you can help. Change begins with you. Remember that no matter what we are getting paid, we deserve to be treated fairly. We deserve to be treated with respect and equality. We are hard working women and deserve more. We must fight for the wellbeing of ourselves and our families.