What it is:
Did you know that women only make 80 cents for every dollar paid to white men? And the gap is even worse for many women of color — 61 cents for black women and just 53 cents for Latina women for every dollar paid to white men. Pay inequity is structural and widespread, but there are a number of ways you can identify it in your own workplace and take action.
How to spot it:
- The gender pay gap exists for a number of reasons. It can literally mean a difference in pay between two equally-qualified employees, one who is male and one who is female, or it can also be tied to the fact that women are often put in lower-paying roles due to stereotypes or discrimination, are in lower-paying industries, or make less because of caregiving responsibilities.
Three ways to fight it:
- Ask for pay transparency: Talk to your company about guidelines for starting salaries, bonuses and position changes. At the same time, if you’re able to, talk to colleagues about how much they’re making. Often, people don’t realize that pay inequity exists in their workplace until they start talking about it.
- Advocate for your worth: Women are often less likely to negotiate for their salaries. Have a clear idea of what people in your role should be paid, and be sure to ask for what you deserve when looking for a raise or a new job. Sites like Glassdoor and Salary.com can also be helpful for learning more about potential salary ranges.
Fight the system: There are a number of laws, both federally and locally, that could mandate equal pay and create a workplace environment that is more supportive of women’s financial situations (e.g. better family leave policies).
- The Paycheck Fairness Act (learn more about it here) would help fill the gaps in existing federal legislation to break patterns of pay discrimination and strengthen workplace protections for women. You can use this form to urge your representatives in Congress to support it and push for swift passage.