Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Background on Equal Pay Day

Equal Pay Day, commemorated on April 12th this year, represents the approximate day that women must work to in the current year to make the same amount of money men did in the previous year. In other words, the equal pay calculation means that a woman must have worked all of one year and well into the next year to be paid what men were paid in one year alone. The gender-based wage gap represents a pattern that has existed over many years and reflects multiple barriers to equal pay, including gender- and race-based pay discrimination, segregation of women into lower paying jobs and exclusion from higher-paying nontraditional jobs as well as lack of workplace policies that make it difficult for women to care for families without suffering an economic penalty.

$10,800 Less Income  - The wage gap of 79 cents (rounded up from 78.6 percent) is the median earnings in 2014 (latest data available) of women full-time, year round workers as a percentage of the median earnings of men full-time, year round workers, according to the Current Population Survey, U.S. Census Bureau. The 21.4 percent gap represents nearly $10,800 in lower annual earnings for all women at the median – which accumulated over a 40 year working career is a huge loss in income.

NOW was the first women’s organization to publicize not only the traditional, all women’s Equal Pay Day, but also the dates that symbolize how much harder women of color must work to make the same as their male counterparts from the previous year. So to continue that conversation about the pay gap to include the income inequalities which exist along racial as well as gender lines, the NOW again recognizes multiple Equal Pay Days.


2016 Equal Pay Day Dates
The wage disparity in the U.S. persists not only between men and women but also varies considerably by race and this pattern has persisted over many decades. Although women (of all races) are paid $.79 for every dollar men (all races, across all occupations) are paid, the wage gaps for nearly all other major racial groups are dramatically wider. Only the Asian American women’s wage gap is smaller – but many smaller sub-groups of Asian-American women have a much larger wage gap. The wage gaps and Equal Pay Days noted below are based on calculations using 2014 median year round, full time earnings.

March 15 – Asian-American Women’s Equal Pay Day (88%)
April 12 – Traditional Equal Pay Day (79%)
August 23 – African American Women’s Equal Pay Day (63%)
September 14 – Native American Women’s Equal Pay Day (59%)
November 1 – Latina Women’s Equal Pay Day (54%)


For More Information
For more information about Equal Pay Days, example Tweets for other 2016 Equal Pay dates, some graphics to post, and more resources, see NOW’s Equal Pay Social Media Kit

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