Equal Pay Day

By: Tanya Kramer, LPC

This year Equal Pay Day lands on March 15 and represents how much longer women need to work in order to earn the same amount as men in the United States.

The most recent statistics from “The National Committee on Pay Equity” reveal that in 2019, women earn 82 cents for every dollar earned by their male counterparts. 

The Equal Pay Act of 1963 clearly states that this act “prohibits sex-based wage discrimination between men and women in the same establishment who perform jobs that require substantially equal skill, effort and responsibility under similar working conditions.”

It is important to take Equal Pay a step further to examine the intersectionality of equal pay based on both gender and race. 

The impact is compounded from the US Census Bureau which was included in the article “Women of Color and the Wage Gap” written by Robin Bleiweis, Rose Khattar, and Joscelyn Frye.

The women’s workforce was negatively impacted by COVID as many women had to adapt to different jobs or quit in order to care for children at home 

Women are coming together through various ways to push back on this system.

But there is an impact that needs to be addressed. 

Some recent issues you may have heard about include the following:

  • Women’s Soccer settles lawsuit for $24 million dollars after a 6-year fight to guarantee equal pay. 
  • Anita Hill has a new podcast called “Getting Even” that covers the confirmation of Supreme Court Judge Clarence Thomas along with other equality issues including pay.
  • The news of Brittney Griner being detained in Russia, regardless of the drug charges, should raise awareness of why Brittney might have even been in Russia. 

For many female athletes, they don’t make enough money during their regular season in the United States, so they travel abroad during the off-season to play in other countries that actually pay them more money. This is an Equal Pay issue at the core. 

The Equal Pay for Team USA Act was introduced in July 2021. This bill, if passed, would “require that all athletes representing the United States in global athletic competitions receive equal compensation, benefits, medical care, travel, and reimbursement expenses, regardless of gender.”

New York Times Article “In 25 years the Pay Gap has Shrunk only 8 Cents” by Fracesca Donner and Emma Goldberg 

As the New York Times article listed above suggests, women may need to ask their colleagues who do the same job how much they make and if there is a gap, to advocate and negotiate. As this article stated, many people feel more uncomfortable pushing for equal pay since the pandemic. 

But it is a movement that happens through many smaller moments, along with bigger campaigns. Let us all play a role in change!