Every year in March or April, National Equal Pay Day brings awareness to the pay discrepancies between men and women for the same work. Equal Pay Day was created by the National Committee on Pay Equity (NCPE) in 1996. This year, Equal Pay Day will be recognized on March 15.
Equal Pay Day also symbolizes how far into the year women must work to earn what men earned in the previous year.
In 2021, women earned 82 cents for every dollar earned by men so a woman must work 15 months to earn what a man earns in 12 months. According to a recent article in Forbes, women lose hundreds of thousands of dollars over a lifetime compared to their white male counterparts. One study showed that white women lost $555,360, and black women lost $964,400 over their working lifetime.
The pay gap between men and women is expected to rise post-pandemic. The prediction is that women will earn ONLY 76 cents for every dollar earned by a male worker, and it will take more than 10 years to close the wage gap to what it was before the pandemic. Unfortunately the pandemic increased the gender pay gap.
Here are a few suggestions to help bring awareness to the gender pay gap.
Look for companies that have pay transparency - both for employers you want to consider and companies and organizations you want to support.
In February, the U.S. national women's soccer team won $24 million in an equal pay settlement. Progress toward equal pay is being made but not without significant effort. Together women AND men can work together to close the gender pay gap.
One of our financial planning clients recently shared that she secured a new job that paid her $22,000 more than her previous role, about a 50% increase. “I want to thank you for encouraging me to reach beyond my scope and giving me a ‘come to Jesus’ moment!” During our financial planning sessions with this client, we were able to identify what was a reasonable salary based on her experience, education, and type of employer.
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