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The Gender Pay Gap: The Road to Equal Pay

There is a lot of work to do. Here is a start.

Women’s Equal Pay Days are recognized around the country to represent the date on which a woman must work into the next year to earn what the average man earns the previous year.

Why are we talking about this today, Aug 11th? Because today is Black Women’s Equal Pay Day.

What is the gender pay gap?

In a nutshell, the gender pay gap is the difference between what women are paid versus men.

The gender pay gap exists across every age group and widens over the course of a woman’s career and in nearly every profession. For example, 15 of the 20 highest-paying jobs are dominated by men. 14 of the 20 lowest-paying jobs are dominated by women. Women of color are also more likely to work low-wage jobs.

Working women lose out on over $500 billion a year. An individual woman may lose around $1 million dollars in her career due to the gender pay gap. When we say this affects most women, we mean most women. An analysis of US Census data shows that female physicians and surgeons are paid 71 cents to the dollar, compared to their male counterparts.

To give you a better idea of the disparity, below lists the wage gap by demographic and how much a woman makes to a man’s dollar. 

  • Asian-American Women: $0.90

  • Women: $0.82

  • Black Women: $0.62

  • Native American Women: $0.57

  • Latina Women: $0.54

  • Moms: $0.70

But what led to this inequality? One word:  Inequity.

Many factors contribute to the size of the gender pay gap, including:

  • The ability to work a certain number of hours due to domestic and care obligations

  • Time off taken to raise families, creating gaps in one’s career history

  • Opportunity, or lack thereof, given to women in leadership roles due to bias

  • The “boys’ club” of male dominated fields that cause higher segregation of men and women. This is also known as occupation gender segregation

  • Outright pay discrimination

Why is this significant?

Since women get paid less, it leads to a disparity in wealth accumulation as well. In short, they have less to invest.

So, what are some solutions? Well, it starts with the business owner…

Here are 5 steps businesses can take to practice equal pay:

  1. Conduct equal pay audits.

  2. Promote pay transparency in your organization (i.e. everyone should know each other’s wages).

  3. Public-private partnerships.

  4. Support pay equity laws in your state and federally. This step takes a bit more work and research on the employer’s part, but it is worth the time and effort to know what they’re supporting and potentially voting for.

  5. Eliminate unconscious bias. This is ACTIVE work and doesn’t just happen in a day. Eliminating bias is a practice and a continuous education.

What can women do to earn more?

Until compensation is standardized, women can and should negotiate more often and negotiate for higher pay. Studies have shown that women negotiate less often than men and for less of an increase than men.

THE BOTTOM LINE:

Women’s Equal Pay Days are recognized around the country to represent the date on which a woman must work into the next year to earn what the average man earns the previous year.

The gender pay gap exists across every age group and widens over the course of a woman’s career and in nearly every profession.

This is not just a women’s issue. It affects children, families, communities, and society, especially as more women become primary earners in their families.

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This data is for informational purposes only and Capital Benchmark Partners, LLC (“CBP”) is not affiliated with any of the businesses mentioned nor endorses them. CBP is not endorsed by any third party entities for their inclusion in this article nor is compensated for mentioning them. *Past performance is not a guarantee of future results. The information contained herein has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable but the accuracy of the information cannot be guaranteed.

 

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