Would you like to work at least 15 months for the same paycheck your male coworker received in just 12 months? Well, if you're a woman odds are you already do.
Equal Pay Day — which takes place Tuesday, April 4, this year — is the symbolic day when women's pay finally "catches up" to the wages that men took home the previous year. The date represents the fact that women working full time, year-round in the United States typically are paid just 80 percent of what men are paid, or a gap of 20 percent. (AAUW also observes the equal pay days in March for Asian American women, in August for African American women, in September for Native American women, and in October for Latina women.)
Missing 20 percent or more of a paycheck is a hard hit. Think about how that loss of wages adds up over a lifetime, and we're talking about losing a substantial chunk of change — change that could have greatly aided women and their families. The pay gap is closing but at a glacial pace. At the current rate, women won't achieve equal pay until 2152. Women and families can't afford to wait that long, nor can we risk rolling back the progress that has been made on equal pay.
Luckily, Equal Pay Day is the perfect opportunity to organize action to close the gender pay gap. If you're looking for ways to take action and speed up progress, go to AAUW.org for more info, ideas on how to get people thinking about and talking about the pay gap and how to fix it, how to talk to your state or national political representatives about this issue, and graphics like this map!