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[Image description: photo of the Keep Marching book.]

Ruth Martin's picture

It's time to get real: We live in a country that often claims to worship mothers, but in truth, becoming a mother puts women at a tremendous lifelong economic risk. In fact, being a mom is now a greater predictor of wage and hiring discrimination than being a woman.

→ Let’s disrupt the wage gap, stand up and fight unequal pay, by talking more about how lack of equal pay hurts us all.  We’ll get you started with a free copy of the equal pay chapter from the hit new book #KeepMarching.

Here’s the deal. There’s no committee of people deciding to pay women, moms, and moms of color, less money than men. Unfair pay is often the result of a series of subconscious biased decisions. So when we make information about the wage gap available and have conversations about the patterns in unfair pay, then we help make these common subconscious biases conscious--and thus we help stop unfair pay.

This is no small thing. More consciousness is needed ASAP. Today is Mom’s Equal Pay Day--the date to which a mother typically has to work to earn as much as a father earned in the previous calendar year. That’s because, on average, mothers who work outside the home full-time, year-round make just 71 cents for every dollar paid to white fathers. Moms of color and single moms experience increased wage hits on top of that.  

→ This is completely unacceptable! But we can’t change what people don’t understand, and even today a lot of people don’t understand how the wage gap impacts communities differently.

*Click here to get your free copy of the equal pay chapter of #KeepMarching and use it to start conversations about the wage gap in order to end unfair pay!

*Everyone who uses the chapter to start a conversation about the wage gap will also get a free #KeepMarching button! How? We’ll follow up in about a week to see what you thought about the chapter and how you’ve used it. Just respond to that message when you get it and we’ll send you your free #KeepMarching button!

What does it mean to start a conversation? Here are some ideas!

  • Share the chapter with your daughter, your co-worker, or your group of besties and ask them what they think!

  • Or write a social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or other) post about it and ask your readers what they think!

Let us know if you have other ideas!

Here’s a shocking fact that can spark a conversation: Mothers make less than fathers in every state of the union, and the size of the wage gap varies.

What's the Mom Wage Gap in your state?

In Maryland moms make 72 cents on the dollar compared to dads. That means for moms working full-time in Maryland, each year that goes by without closing the gender pay gap translates to an annual average loss of $20,000 compared to their male colleagues who are fathers.

And this is very important: The numbers above are averages of all working moms. But that doesn’t tell the whole story. The fact is that the wage gap exists for mothers across each race compared to white, non-Hispanic fathers--and women of color experience the largest wage gaps.

  • Asian and Pacific Islander mothers are paid 85 cents,*

  • White, non-Hispanic mothers are paid 69 cents,

  • Black mothers are paid 54 cents,

  • Native mothers are paid 49 cents, and

  • Latina mothers are paid just 46 cents for every dollar paid to white, non-Hispanic fathers.

  • Single mothers are paid 57 cents for every dollar paid to all fathers,

  • And mothers in low-wage jobs are paid just 59 cents for every dollar paid to fathers in low-wage jobs.

*Even this number doesn’t tell the full story because once the data is disaggregated data shows that some AAPI moms face larger wage gaps hidden by the “model minority” myth.

The fact is that motherhood is a greater predictor of wage inequality than gender. In other words, the gender pay gap is largely due to motherhood -- even if a woman ISN’T a mom, studies show the fact that she could potentially become a mom contributes to unequal pay.

There is direct discrimination going on here against moms: In a study of EQUAL resumes and job experiences, moms were offered jobs 80% less of the time than non-moms; and were offered $11,000 less than non-moms for highly paid positions. Dads, on the other hand, were offered $6,000 more.

That’s a seriously dangerous and unfair gap.

Studies also found that moms are judged more harshly in the labor force, and, for example, are taken off the management track for fewer late days than non-moms.

This is so NOT okay.

On this #MomsEqualPayDay download your free copy of the equal pay chapter of #KeepMarching and use it to start conversations about the wage gap with your friends and family.

In addition to this pay gap being just plain wrong and unfair, it’s also harming our nation’s families and economy. When moms suffer wage discrimination, their families suffer and our economy suffers too. Moms are the primary consumers for their families and when they can’t afford to buy the products and services their families need, local economies suffer, and this negative economic impact ripples out into our Gross Domestic Product. In fact, studies show that our GDP would be increased by at least 3% if there was pay parity.

It’s long past time to right the wrong of wage discrimination. Not just because it’s unfair and wrong, not just because it devalues the important contributions of women and mothers in our workplaces, but also because the pay gap negatively affects our overall economy.

→ Please also take a moment to forward this email to friends and family! Post the action link on Facebook and Twitter to spread the word. The more of us who take action, the better chance we have of making this the last #MomsEqualPayDay!

**Here’s that action link again for you to use and share: 

Together we’re a powerful force for women and families!


P.S. Big thank you to our friends at the National Women's Law Center for their important work and research on closing the women's wage gap! Be sure to check out their new report "The Wage Gap for Mothers, State by State" to see how your state ranks when it comes to #MomsEqualPay.


P.P.S: Have you experienced pay discrimination? What about your mother, grandmother or daughter? How has it impacted your family? Do tell! We’ll compile your experiences into one central document and share them with elected leaders so they can see what mothers and families are really facing around the nation. Personal experiences, the stories that put faces on all the data, are extremely powerful and make a big difference. Share your experience here:


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