Support Equal Pay Day
WLAM is a sponsoring organization for the Equal Pay Day Coalition. The Equal Pay Day is a national day of recognition that there is a significant pay gap between women’s and men’s wages. The date itself symbolizes how far into the year a woman must work, on average, to earn as much as a man earned the previous year. We encourage our members to participate in this awareness by wearing red in support of women “in the red” and posting with the hashtag #WLAMforEqualPay on any or all of the following Equal Pay Days this year:
- March 5, 2019 – Asian American Women’s Equal Pay Day
- April 2, 2019 – All Women’s Equal Pay Day
- April 19, 2019 – White Women’s Equal Pay Day
- August 22, 2019 – Black Women’s Equal Pay Day
- September 23, 2019 – Native American Women’s Equal Pay Day
- November 29, 2019 – Latinas’ Women’s Equal Pay Day
Engage. If you want to do more to raise awareness, here are some fun ideas to engage with your community:
- Host an un-happy hour where the men pay full price while women get a 20% discount.
- Write and submit letters to the editor and op-eds to a variety of publications in your region or state-wide to gain broad coverage that day
- Host an issue forum in your region, such as a panel discussion, to discuss fair pay Invite elected officials to participate in your event and spread the news themselves. Host the event on a local campus, invite student organizations, and look into salary negotiations workshops on college campuses to engage more students and working women in the discussion.
Notable Information. 56 years after the Equal Pay Act was enacted by Congress to require “equal pay for work of comparable value requiring comparable skills,” the gender pay gap persists. Women are paid between 80-50 cents for every dollar paid to men according to the 2017 U.S. Census, with almost no change in that gap in the last decade, and that is much larger for women of color.
We did have a big win in Michigan when Governor Whitmer signed Execute Directive 2019-10 which prohibits state agencies and departments from inquiring about a job applicant’s current or previous salaries until a conditional offer of employment, including proposed compensation, is made. It also prohibits retrieval of the same information by searching public records or databases. This is aimed at requiring compensation to be based on the nature of the work performed and services provided, and to avoid the perpetuation of the gender wage gap.
We are hopeful that WLAM, other sponsoring organizations, and our community can work together to erase this disadvantage to all working women.
Information adapted from the America Association of University Women website.