#EqualPayDay and Why #20percent (Still) Counts
Let’s talk about a topic near and dear to all of us: pay equity. National Equal Pay Day, which this year was observed on April 4, originated in 1996 by the National Committee on Pay Equity. The day represents how far into the year women must work to earn what men earned in the previous year.
Here in North Carolina, we can boast an 86% earnings ratio, but there are many still other factors to consider. The statistics often quoted do not delve into greater gaps that exist for women at a certain age or of other races. Not to mention that 40% of women are the primary breadwinners, so a deficit in pay to us equals a deficit in family finances. And let’s face it: any gap in pay impacts our economic independence, our earning potential, and our career trajectory. What can you do about the pay gap? Inform yourself, know the facts, and master your future salary and compensation negotiations. These are steps each of us can take to help secure greater career success.
Here’s an eye-opening excerpt from “The Simple Truth About the Gender Pay Gap,” a report from the American Association of University Women (AAUW) on the state of the pay gap:
Did you know that in 2015, women working full time in the United States typically were paid just 80 percent of what men were paid, a gap of 20 percent? While the number has gone up one percentage point from 2014, the change isn’t statistically significant — because the increase is so small, mere tenths of a percent, it doesn’t amount to perceptible change. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the earnings ratio hasn’t had significant annual change since 2007. The gap has narrowed since the 1970s, due largely to women’s progress in education and workforce participation and to men’s wages rising at a slower rate. Still, the pay gap does not appear likely to go away on its own. At the rate of change between 1960 and 2015, women are expected to reach pay equity with men in 2059. But even that slow progress has stalled in recent years. If change continues at the slower rate seen since 2001, women will not reach pay equity with men until 2152
I invite you to join us for our upcoming Career Preparation Workshop on May 23, where, among other speakers, well-known author and executive coach, Vickie Bevenour, will speak on the topic of salary negotiation. Coach Vickie, as she is affectionately known, very effectively guides us on bargaining power, gives us step-by-step instructions for negotiating compensation, and tackles how to have the uncomfortable conversations that can ultimately lead to greater compensation.
I hope that you inform yourself about our current gender pay gap, and that like me, it serves as a catalyst to master your next salary negotiations.
Zahira Floyd, CWNC Co-President