April 4 is Equal Pay Day – and it symbolizes how far into this year that women must work to earn the same amount men earned in 2016.
See Dick and Jane. Dick and Jane are the same age, earned the same college degree, have two years of the same work experience, are employed by the same company and hold the same job title. The only difference? Dick makes $50,000 per year and Jane only makes $40,000.
April 4 is Equal Pay Day, which symbolizes how far into this year that Jane must work to earn the same amount that Dick earned in the previous year. Her education, skills, experience and job responsibilities are the same as Dick’s, but Jane makes 80 cents for every dollar that Dick is paid. Why? Because Jane is female.
Did reading this story about two fictional characters make you angry? It should, because for many women, this isn’t a fictional story.
In the United States, women are paid approximately 80 percent of what men are paid. For women of color, the gap is even wider. African American women are paid, on average, 63 cents and Latinas are paid 54 cents for every dollar paid to white, non-Hispanic men.
Now, think about your daughter, your granddaughter, your sister or even your mother. Would you want them to be paid 80 percent less for doing the same work a similarly qualified male counterpart gets paid, simply because they are female?
Equal Pay Day was established in 1996 as a public awareness event to illustrate the gap between men’s and women’s wages by the National Committee on Pay Equity (NCPE). Its goal is to shed light on the importance of ending pay discrimination based on gender and encouraging equal pay for equal work.
Here are ways we can all work together to reduce the gender pay gap:
Eliminate salary negotiation for entry-level jobs. Remember when Saturn introduced negotiation-free pricing for its cars? Employers could level the playing field by introducing negotiation-free job offers for entry-level positions.
Teach daughters how to negotiate. It’s important for parents to teach their daughters how to negotiate their pay. Then, provide guidance and emotional support as they negotiate their salaries at the beginning of their careers.
Teach salary negotiation in college. Include salary negotiation training for both women and men as one of the requirements for undergraduate college degree completion. Here are eight tips to negotiate your starting salary.
Conduct employer pay equity self-audits every year. Make reviewing each job offer for potential gender discrimination issues a standard part of the HR job offer approval process. Here is a 10-step employer pay equity self-audit guide.
Benchmark your pay. Before accepting a job (or asking for a raise), arm yourself with salary data by conducting research online, such as through glassdoor.com, salary.com and payscale.com. Don’t be timid — ask others in similar jobs if they would be willing to share their salary information and compare backgrounds with you.
Don’t be afraid to ask for a raise. If you find out you’re making less than others in the same job, don’t keep quiet. But get ready for the conversation with your boss by using these 3 steps to getting a pay raise.