Published: Wed, April 05, 2017
Markets | By Terence Owen

Equal Pay Day: Don't Celebrate, Organize!

The warm fuzzy feminist feelings of Women's History Month have hardly worn off and already Equal Pay Day is rolling around - a day symbolizing how far into the year women in the USA must work to earn what men earned in the previous year.

But she still might not have enough to close the gender pay gap in the church.

It's not just progressive states like California taking the wage gap seriously, either - North Dakota passed a bill in 2015 strengthening employer salary reporting requirements.

Second, although differences in the number of hours men and women work (and when those hours are worked) is a significant driver of the wage gap, most women don't find this believable.

In the last few years, Hollywood has been discussing equal pay for women in the industry more; actresses have voiced their opinions on the issue and shared their personal experiences of finding out their male co-stars made more money than they did. Black and Hispanic women are more than twice as likely to work in service occupations as white women.

Female union members saw significantly narrower gender wage disparities than their nonunionized counterparts, the Economic Policy Institute found in a study released Monday.

"There's a moral imperative that, of course, people should get equal pay for equal work, but there are also great studies that demonstrate when you have diversity in senior management, and have a diverse set of opinions at the table, you get better business outcomes", she said.

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However, it's important that we have this conversation and allowing women to feel like they have the power to negotiate.

There are critics of such wage-gap findings. Only 28% thought this was a "major reason" that women on average earn less than men.

"Women make on average 80 percent to the dollar paid to white men", notes National Organization for Women President Terry O'Neill.

By raising more awareness Tuesday, Dapelo-Garcia hopes the gender wage gap will become a thing of the past. "In turn for that, I'm willing to have a lower salary, but without that, I can't be in the work force". To get people to take on risky and physically grueling jobs, businesses have to sweeten the pot with higher pay.

"At Lyft, we celebrate a diverse and inclusive culture, and we participate to make change happen - whether that's at work or in the vehicle", the company said in a statement. That way it can't be that, "Oh, women and men are getting the same pay at the same level, but we're promoting the men faster than the women". In fact, the persistent wage gap means that, on average, women lose a combined $840 billion every year, according to a new report from the National Partnership for Women & Families.

The Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces order also prohibited companies with federal contracts from forcing employees into arbitration without both people's consent in the event of sexual assault or harassment accusations.

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