Category Archives: Equal Pay

Latina Equal Pay Day: Not a day to celebrate

gabriela-headshotFor the past six years of my life I’ve dedicated my professional life to women’s equity issues. I was an instrumental part of a team that helped develop and eventually pass a paid sick days ordinance in Seattle in 2011. Currently, it’s been all about getting a paid family and medical leave bill passed at the state level.

While having paid sick days and paid family & medical leave are crucial to the economic security of women and their families, having these two benefits is not enough—especially if you are Latina like me. Wages matter and, in the case of Latinas, we continue to have a much wider gender wage gap than white women or even African American women.

According to the Economic Opportunity Institute, “Washington women who worked full-time in 2014 were paid $13,000 less than men, diminishing family budgets and undercutting community business prosperity. Women of color face especially large wage disparities. Median pay for White women in Washington is 74% of White men’s, for Black women 68%, and Latinas 48%.

“The wage gap persists at all education levels and across occupations. More women than men between the ages of 25 and 45 hold four-year college degrees in Washington, but women need those degrees to make the same amount of income as men with less formal schooling.”

latinaequalpayday-equal-pay-for-equal-workIt’s disheartening. According to other statistics, in Washington State it would take a Latina about three years to catch up to what a white man makes. This means that in 2019, I’ll be making what a white man makes in today’s wages. Yay.

Today is Latina Equal Pay Day, which marks the day that Latina workers finally catch up to what white, non-Hispanic male workers made last year. Yes, you read that right. Nationally, it takes Latinas 22 months to match a white male’s earnings from the prior year, according to recent United States Census data.

Economic security for women means having no wage gap, access to paid sick days, and paid family and medical leave. Show your support by voting yes on I-1433, which will lower the wage gap disparitiesacross the board and ensure that all workers in Washington get paid sick days.

If we can get this done in 2016, then maybe in 2017 we can get paid family and medical leave passed. Just imagine!

By Gabriela Quintana, Economic Opportunity Institute

Original: Legal Voice »

Report: At Current Rate, Women Won’t Close Pay Gap Until 2059

Full-time working women in Washington make about 79 percent as much as their male counterparts. (AFGE/flickr)

Full-time working women in Washington make about 79 percent as much as their male counterparts. (AFGE/flickr)

If the gender pay gap continues to close at its current rate, women will reach pay equity with men in 2059, according to a new report from the American Association of University Women. Called The Simple Truth about the Gender Pay Gap, the report finds full-time working women are slowly closing the disparity, making about 80 percent nationally of what their male counterparts make.

Marilyn Watkins, policy director at the Economic Opportunity Institute, said the issue isn’t just that women are paid less for the same job title. Often, as in the technology field, they are shuffled into lower-paying positions.

“Men might get the job as coders, which are the most highly paid jobs, and women get slotted into the testing part, where they still have to have a lot of computer and technology skills but they just get paid less and they don’t have the opportunity to really rise up in the organization either,” she said.

In Washington, full-time working women make 79 percent of what men working full-time make, according to the report.

Watkins said Washington state could strengthen its equal-pay laws by looking to other states. This summer, she said, Massachusetts passed one of the strongest equal-pay laws in the country, which makes sure companies pay equally for comparable jobs and job requirements.

“For example, cafeteria workers and custodians might be deemed comparable jobs even though one is traditionally female and gets paid a lot less than the traditionally male custodial jobs,” she added.

Equal-pay legislation, such as bills that provide for wage transparency, have failed in Washington’s Legislature over the past few years. But Watkins said the paid sick-leave initiative on this year’s ballot could boost Washington women in the workplace.

The report also found that African-American women make about two-thirds and Hispanic or Latina women make about half of what white men make nationwide. Watkins said it’s important to think about how policies that close the gender pay gap affect women of color as well.

“We really do need to include a racial equity lens as well as a gender equity lens when we’re looking at policies,” explained Watkins. “All of these policies will really help end some of the racial inequities as well as some of the gender inequities.”

The full report can be read here.

[Via Public News Service]

Brilliant ‘wage gap’ alarm clock rings after 79% of the work day so women can go home

“Equal Pay Day” is a national holiday observed on April 12 that calls for awareness of the wage gap between male and female employees. But we shouldn’t just focus on equal pay on one designated day, especially since men and women aren’t paid equally for equal work.

So in an effort to keep this issue in the forefront of everyone’s minds, MTV’s Look Different campaign partnered with PARTY NY for the 79% Work Clock, a project that shines a light on how gender impacts pay.

Women who work full time are, on average, paid 79% of their male coworker’s salaries. So, the clock sounds an alarm 79% of the way through the work day to remind us all that after a certain time of the day, women aren’t paid for the work they’re doing.

Full story: Revelist »

Being a Woman Will Cost You $430,480 Over Your Working Lifetime

What’s the individual damage from gender inequality in the workplace? For the average U.S. woman it’s more than $430,000 over the course of her career, according to an analysis by the National Women’s Law Center, a non-profit advocacy group.

cost of being a woman

Click to embiggen

The gender pay-gap issue has come to the fore following criticism from President Barack Obama that women earn 79 cents for every dollar a man makes and demands by actresses including Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence and top women’s soccer players for equal wages to their male counterparts. Some states have intervened: California lawmakers last year approved legislation mandating that women and men earn the same amount for similar work.

“We’re in a moment where women are making up an increasing part of the workforce and there’s a firm recognition that their salaries matter to themselves, but also to their families’ economic security,” Fatima Goss Graves, a senior vice president at NWLC, said by phone. “We’ve seen very prominent figures call attention to the wage gap and that’s so critical because it highlights no industry is immune to it.”

For the working women in America, race is also a factor in pay disparity, and to a lesser extent where they live. The gap is widest for African-American and Latino women in the nation’s capital, Washington, where the gap is $1.6 million to $1.8 million over a four-decade career, compared with a white, non-Hispanic male wage-earner.

Full story: Bloomberg »

Ruchika Tulshyan thinks it’s time to turn the tables


Author Ruchika Tulshyan [Photo by Jama Abdiraman, via EqualiSea]

[via EqualiSea] I’ll admit it. I’ve gone to more than one “how to negotiate” workshop.

I can do power poses like no one’s business. Strong eye contact, shoulders back, spine straight. But also making sure to sit at a slight angle so I don’t look “too aggressive.” Staring at myself awkwardly in the mirror, I’ve practiced comebacks for common arguments to why I should be paid less. And I’ve even used cute phrases like “wiggle room” to soften the blow of –-gasp—a woman asking to be paid more!

But the truth is, I can do power poses for the rest of my life and I still won’t be paid the same as my male counterparts. Because individuals can only get so far within a system that’s constantly pushing back on them.

As Ruchika Tulshyan writes in her new book, The Diversity Advantage: Fixing Gender Inequality in the Workplace, “too much of the existing narrative focuses on ‘fixing women’—getting more women to negotiate, assert, demand, be confident and ‘lean in’ to leadership.”

Instead, if we take a closer look, we see that gender inequality is something that we unintentionally built right into the structures of our businesses. With the example of negotiation, we know that we have social stigma against women asking for more money. But we keep salaries secret, we keep requiring employees to negotiate, and we keep penalizing women for it.

Perhaps we’re ready turn the tables, to evolve our workplaces so that they work for women, as well as men. Because our old systems were designed for a different time, and a different workforce. And frankly, we’ve outgrown them.

That doesn’t mean that we have to demolish our way of doing business altogether—but we do need to be open to a steady stream of renovations.

The good news? These investments will also benefit the business.

Full story at EqualiSea »

Unequal pay’s lasting legacy: Lost income from your 1st day at work until the day you die

Equal Pay Social Security

It’s certainly not news that American women continue to earn less than men for the same work, typically 79 cents on the dollar. But what’s less understood is the devastating impact those lost wages have over time. In fact, over a working woman’s career, that pay gap could accumulate to a half million dollars in lost income and even more for women of color. A comprehensive analysis of gender pay inequality, released by the Joint Economic Committee’s Democratic staff, shows how the gender pay gap grows over time. It’s not just an issue for working women because this inequality can also have a compounding and devastating impact on retired women.

Yesterday was ‪#‎EqualPay‬ Day. Today, millions of women went to work and were paid less for it than their male counterparts. At the current rate of change, it will take 40 years to close the gender pay gap. That’s simply not an option for generations of American women who will continue to face the consequences of income inequality from their very first day on the job until they die. Here are four steps Congress can take to make a difference now.

Read more: Huffington Post »