Each year, advocates for gender pay equality highlight the issue on Equal Pay Day, the day that marks how far a woman must work into the new year to equal what a man earns in one year.

In 2019, that day will be April 2.

2018 report

A report released in November 2018 – “Still A Man’s Labor Market: The Slowly Narrowing Gender Wage Gap” by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research – found that when examining data from the last 15 years, U.S. women haven’t been making 80 cents for every dollar men make, they’ve been making 49 cents for every dollar to men.

The report also found that:

  • While progress was made in the preceding 30 years, the wage gap had gotten worse in the last 15 years of the study
  • Women who took one year off from work earned 39 percent less than women who worked every year between 2001 and 2015. In 1968, that figure was 12 percent
  • More than 40 percent of women had at least one year with no earnings, nearly twice the rate of men

Another report – “The State of Working America: Wages 2018” by the Economic Policy Institute – found that the wage gap extended along education lines as well: men with a bachelor’s degree earned more on average than a woman with an advanced degree.

Ideas to help fix the problem

One writer offers several ideas to help change the culture surrounding the wage gap:

  • Demand your company pay you at the same level as others at your level, and hold them accountable. Include equity, benefits and vacation as well as salary in your bid for transparency
  • Support companies that support equal pay
  • Get women into leadership positions. Research shows that when women are equally represented in a company’s top echelon, the wage gap decreases

As Equal Pay Day nears, if you think you have been the victim of the gender pay gap, you may have legal recourse. Contact a qualified, experienced attorney who can give you advice on how to proceed with any possible claim.

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