In Time for Equal Pay Day on April 24th, Rep. Maloney Releases Top Ten Facts about the Gender Pay Gap
Washington, D.C. – Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Vice Chair of the Joint Economic Committee, today released a list of the top ten facts about the gender pay gap to mark Equal Pay Day – a day that indicates just how far into each year a woman must work to earn as much as a man earned in the previous year.
"Unequal pay practices are costing women and their families thousands of dollars each year, so it's important to highlight the key facts about the gender wage gap," said Rep. Maloney. "It takes women working full-time nearly 16 months to earn what men make in a year for doing the same work. Passing the Paycheck Fairness Act would take critical steps to prevent discrimination from ever occurring by empowering women to negotiate better pay and toughening penalties for employers that break the law."
Top Ten Facts about the Gender Pay Gap:
1. When occupation, marital status, job tenure, industry, and race are accounted for, women still earn 80 cents for every dollar men earn, according to a 2003 Government Accountability Office (GAO) study commissioned by Rep. Maloney and Rep. John Dingell (D-MI).
2. Full-time working women earn only 77 cents for every dollar men earn. The wage gap is wider for African American women, who earned only 66 percent of the earnings of white men in 2005, and Hispanic women, who earned only 55 percent.
3. The earnings ratio has remained essentially unchanged since 2001. About half of the decline in the wage gap over the past 40 years occurred during the 1980s, but slower progress was made during the 1990s.
4. Despite women's increased productivity and educational attainment, the wage gap exists across all income levels, from low wage work to highly paid positions.
5. Women are disproportionately represented in many of the lowest wage sectors. Many of the occupations that include a higher percentage of women, including child and elder care as well as teaching, are among the lowest paid.
6. There is a "mommy penalty" and a "daddy bonus" related to pay. Mothers earn about 2.5 percent less than women without children, while fathers enjoy an earnings boost of 2.1 percent, compared to men without children.
7. Estimates of how much women stand to lose over their lifetimes due to unequal pay practices range from $700,000 for high school graduates to $2 million for doctors and lawyers, according to the WAGE project.
8. Employers can make a difference: Go beyond simply following the law by taking a self-audit, such as one recommended by the National Commission on Pay Equity .
9. Government can make a difference: Vigilantly enforcing the pay equity laws is the most important role of government, but governments can also be exemplary employers. As a result of passing the State Employees Pay Equity Act in 1982, Minnesota has all but eliminated the wage gap among state employees as the average earnings for women employed by the state have reached 97 percent of average earnings for their male colleagues.
10. Be your own best advocate: Know your rights so that you can identify illegal wage discrimination and negotiate your salary; take job training classes so you can bust that glass ceiling or move to a higher paying industry; and support legislation to reduce the wage gap.
The Paycheck Fairness Act:
The Paycheck Fairness Act (H.R. 1338), authored by Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), would strengthen the Equal Pay Act of 1963 to provide more effective remedies to women who are not being paid equal wages for doing equal work. It would also give the Department of Labor the opportunity to enhance outreach and training programs to work with employers to eliminate pay disparities and would provide awards for employers that make strides in eliminating pay disparities.
Specifically, the bill would:
* Require the Department of Labor to enhance outreach and training efforts to work with employers to eliminate pay disparities;
* Prohibit employers from retaliating against employees who share salary information with their co-workers;
* Allow women to sue for punitive damages in addition to compensatory damages now available under the Equal Pay Act;
* Require the Department of Labor to continue collecting and disseminating information about women workers; and
* Create a new grant program to help strengthen the negotiation skills of girls and women.
April 25, 2006: Gender Pay Gap Persists
November 20, 2003: GAO UNCOVERS PERSISTENT GLASS CEILING