National Equal Pay Day raises awareness of the pay discrepancies between men and women for the same work each year. Equal Pay Day was created by the National Committee on Pay Equity (NCPE) in 1996. This year, Equal Pay Day will be recognized on Tuesday, March 14.
Equal Pay Day also symbolizes how far into the year women must work to earn what men earned in the previous year.
In 2022, studies showed that women in the U.S. earned, on average, 82 cents for every dollar earned by men, so a woman must work 15 months to make what a man earns in 12 months. This number varies based on occupation and industry - women in the legal field earn 63 cents, and women in finance and insurance earn 77 cents for every dollar earned by men.
According to an article in Forbes, women lose hundreds of thousands of dollars over a lifetime compared to their white male counterparts. For example, one study showed that white women lost $555,360, and black women lost $964,400 over their working lifetime.
However, there is some good news. The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) commented that the pay gap between working women and men remained steady until 2022, unchanged from 2021, and the gender pay gap has improved by 7 cents since 2015.
Here are a few suggestions to help bring awareness to the gender pay gap.
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. Here's what she wrote, "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 identified a reasonable salary based on her experience, education, and type of employer.
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