Even though research and data from multiple organizations have found that there is in fact a significant gender pay gap in America, not everyone believes in numbers. And with the power of the internet and the hashtag #EqualPayDay, we get to see how some people really feel about the gender pay gap and equal pay for women. Hold on to your unicorns, people, because the debate starts ... now.
Equal Pay Day has been on our calendars since its conception by the National Committee on Pay Equity in 1996, but very little has actually been done to close the wage gap between men and women in America. Recent research shows that in 2016, women only earn 74 cents for every dollar a man makes. Even if we look at men and women in the same jobs, women earn less: comparing only like job titles, experience, and education, women make 97 percent of what men earn. If this information rustles your jimmies like it does mine, I've got six things you can do right now to help close the gender pay gap this Equal Pay Day.
Michigan lawmakers have proposed a bill that has local teenagers in an uproar – and for good reason. Senate Bill 250 would reduce minimum wage from $8.50 to $7.25 an hour for all workers under the age of 20.
Some of the legal decisions that were made in 2015 didn't do much to help workers. For example, Wisconsin was added to the list of Right-to-Work states this year. Many feel that these laws, which change how unions collect fees from the workers they represent, hurt unions and the middle class. In other disappointing news, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on the Integrity Staffing Solutions vs. Busk case, mandating that companies are not required to compensate workers for the time they spend in security-screening at the end of their shifts – or for any task that's not an "integral and indispensable" part of their job, for that matter. But thankfully, the legal news for workers wasn't all bad this past year. So, let's focus on the good, shall we?
Normally, I'm the first in line to join the Kate Winslet Fangirl Club. Between her undeniable acting talent, and her frank discussions about subjects like body image and the way Hollywood treats women as they age, she really seems like a cool, confident, smart lady. But in a recent interview with the BBC, she called the public conversation around the gender pay gap "vulgar."
On Tuesday, the California Fair Pay Act was signed into law. Different from other equal pay legislation, it mandates that women receive equal pay for "substantially similar work." California women make about 84 percent of what men make (higher than the national average of 78 percent), but women of color are the most disproportionately affected by the gender pay gap: African-American women bringing in 64 cents on the dollar, and Latina women making 44 cents.
Women comprise nearly half of today's workforce. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 47.7 percent of households are dual-income, with both the husband and wife working. What's more, approximately 70 percent of these women are also mothers, who handle a vast majority of the household responsibilities along with their careers. It's not surprising, then, that working mothers are struggling to keep up with the high demands of juggling their personal and professional lives simultaneously. Here's what working mothers need in order to get a fair shot at attaining their goals in and out of the workplace.
Although the issue has been with us forever (and isn't predicted to end until 2058) the equal pay debate seems to be heating up right now. Recently released research shows that the gender wage gap exists across all regions and most industries, and the effects are felt by women of every age and from every background.
Recently, Pew Research Center released a short video to explain the findings from its gender wage gap study. The bottom line: although the gender wage gap has narrowed over time, it still exists. We'll take a look at how the wage gap affects the millions of hardworking women around the world who are required to work twice as hard to be considered half as good as their male co-workers.