It’s Equal Pay Day. Again. The day that marks how far a woman typically has to work into 2018 to make what men were paid the previous year, across race, ethnicity, and industry. This is quite simply NOT okay. So, this Equal Pay Day, we want to aim our Care Bear Stare (or really, our emoji glare) directly at the Trump Administration for putting a hold on equality measures.
Why? Because, instead of helping our nation move forward to close the gender wage gap, the Trump administration put an indefinite hold on an important Equal Opportunity Employment Commission (EEOC) pay data collection initiative which was started by President Obama. The initiative would have increased transparency around wages and prevented race and gender gaps from getting swept under the rug. “Would have” are the key operating words here, because now it’s on hold.
→ Click an emoji face below to let Congress and the EEOC know how you feel about unequal pay, and add your name to our petition urging them to move forward with an equal pay data collection tool. Can't decide on an emoji? Take action anyway!
Here’s the deal: While in office, President Obama moved forward several measures to advance equal pay; but now President Trump is stopping them from moving forward even though studies show that one of the best ways to ensure equal pay is to increase transparency around wages and prevent race and gender gaps from getting swept under the rug. Specifically, last August, the Trump administration’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) blocked an important equal pay initiative that President Obama started – the EEO-1 equal pay data collection – which requires large corporations to report pay data by race, ethnicity, and gender to the EEOC.
Your voice is needed in the fight for equal pay.
It’s nothing short of outrageous that right now, today, women earn just 80 cents to a man's dollar. But, that stat doesn’t even tell the whole story, so let’s break it down.
- Latinas earn 54 cents,
- Native American women earn 57 cents,
- Black women earn 63 cents,
- White women earn 75 cents,
- Asian-American and Pacific Islander women earn 87 cents on average (with some AAPI subgroups experiencing gaps as big as 49 cents to a man’s dollar)
- Moms earn 71 cents on the dollar to dads (but as with AAPI women, when the data for moms is disaggregated, the numbers are worse for single moms and moms of color),
- And women with disabilities earn just 73 cents for every dollar earned by men without disabilities.
And no, unfair pay isn’t women’s “fault” as many have asserted over the years. In fact, wage differences within the same occupation make up most of the pay gap between men and women. A Harvard University study found, for instance, that after controlling for age, race, hours and education, women who are doctors and surgeons earn 71 percent of men’s wages; and women who are financial specialists make 66 percent of what male financial specialists earn.
There’s a pattern in all those stats and a wake-up call in the numbers that can’t be ignored:
Gender justice, racial justice, and economic justice are tied together -- and one never happens without the others. It’s time for us to raise our voices.
→ Click a “reaction” emoji below and we’ll send it to Congress and the EEOC right away. We’ll let them know that Equal Pay Day is not a celebration, but a rallying cry for action -- and it’s past time for them to get to work on increasing pay transparency.
Equal Pay Day is about lifting up how the wage gap impacts all of us. And it’s an important day to join together because we are an incredibly powerful force together. This is our moment to rise.
Momentum is growing. Just a couple of weeks ago, Washington State passed the Equal Pay Opportunity Act which moved forward paycheck transparency, addressed gendered job tracking, and more. New Jersey followed by passing one of the strongest equal pay bills in the nation--and 38 additional states are considering equal pay legislation this year.
Corporate momentum for change is growing too. At a recent shareholders meeting, Starbucks announced its commitment to 100% gender and racial pay equity as they also shared tips for other corporations to reach pay parity too. And this Equal Pay Day, over thirty independent coffee shops and other small businesses across the country partnered with MomsRising and the Main Street Alliance to serve custom coffee sleeves and napkins featuring statistics, facts, and ways to take action on the gender wage gap that costs women, and our economy, nearly $900 billion each year.
Many states and businesses are doing their part to help close the wage gap but the Administration and the EEOC must still act. We can’t end pay discrimination and close wage gaps if employers can hide the fact they are paying women and people of color unfairly. The EEOC needs to know that we support equal pay and pay data collection.
We’ll keep fighting till we achieve pay equity. And until then, we’ll keep using this Equal Pay Day, and all the other Equal Pay Days on the calendar as rallying cries to work together to close the wage gap.
Together we’re a powerful force for women and families.
P.S. Want to know more about the barriers to equal pay and how to break them down? A new book, Keep Marching, is coming out on May 1st. All author proceeds go to MomsRising and you can pre-order it now, right here.