Happy Equal Pay Day!
Or, theoretical Equal Pay Day, if we're being picky
Here in New York, the sun is shining. It’s absolutely beautiful out. Yet, thousands of people are walking around, looking like they just heard Brad and Angelina called the whole thing off. Why? Because today is the federal tax filing deadline. But ladies, don’t look so glum--today’s another great day, too. It’s Equal Pay Day, the day meant to create awareness for the gap between men and women’s wages in the U.S. It’s not just Tax Day--it's double the fun, indeed.
OK, I’m reaching here, I know. Especially because the “equal pay” part of Equal Pay Day isn’t equal at all.
This commonly cited statistic says women earn 77 cents for every dollar men do, with women of color receiving even less. It’s admittedly tricky to generalize about a wage gap with several variables at play: age, education, occupation, workweek hours, benefits, and many other factors that can’t simply be labeled as sexism. Confronted with these kinds of hurdles, some people just throw their hands up and call the pay gap situation a myth. Others try to account for disparities in income, and when they do, working women still get the short end of the salary stick, in part due to that whole being women thing.
This year, for example, simply being a woman may have set you back an estimated $10,784—and that’s before it got you the higher health care bill.
Want to maximize that paycheck as much as possible for next year? Here are a few tips: negotiate (but not too aggressively!), be a leader (but not too pushy, obviously!), and look nice (but not, erm, too nice!). That list was published last Equal Pay Day, but it's just as relevant, especially since the wage gap hasn't budged at all this past year. Now get out there on that golf course (unless it bans women members, even CEOs like Virginia Rometty) and negotiate!
Note: Unfortunately, you may have a bit harder of a time working with the above advice if if you live in Wisconsin, where men just care more about money. That’s why the state repealed its Equal Pay Enforcement Act earlier this month. So, anyone busting out the bubbly for Equal Pay Day? Tax Day is sounding like a lot more fun to celebrate all of a sudden, isn't it?
Is the pay gap real? Is it a myth? Do you think legislation, like Wisconsin's defunct Equal Pay Enforcement Act or the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, can do anything to help close the wage gap?
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