it's time

Equal Pay Day

Every year in April, Business and Professional Women/USA and hundreds of other organizations – women’s, civil rights, labor, and community – team up with the National Committee on Pay Equity (NCPE) for a national day of action promoting fair pay: Equal Pay Day. Pay equity continues to be an issue of economic justice for women and minorities in America.

April symbolizes the month when women’s wages catch up to men’s wages from the previous year. To help end wage inequities, the NCPE, a nonprofit organization working exclusively to achieve pay equity in America, coordinates this annual day of action.

Achieving fair pay for women and minorities continues to be a struggle for the U.S. The problem is complex. In some instances, women and people of color do not receive equal pay for doing the same job as their male or white counterparts. On a broader level, because socialization in America is not free from sex or race bias, we continue to wrestle with stereotypes about women and people of color, including stereotypes about what kind of work is appropriate for women and the importance of their jobs. When parking lot attendants are paid more than child care workers, we know the work women do is undervalued.

While earnings statistics do not tell the whole story, they are an important indicator of the progress we have made in wage parity and in economic opportunity, such as ensuring fair opportunities to earn more. Several legal cases have focused on the problems women and people of color face in gaining access to higher paying positions, such as revenue-generating jobs.

Overall in 2006, the median annual earnings of women were only 77 percent of men’s salaries. The gap is even worse for women of color. African American women make 66 percent, Latinas make 55 cents and Asian American make 80 percent of men’s salaries.

BPW Local Organizations and advocates nationwide will mobilize their communities by holding press conferences and setting up meetings with public officials and policymakers to push for stronger state and federal equal pay laws.

For more information, contact BPW/USA’s Director of Public Policy, Elisabeth Gehl at egehl@bpwusa.org

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