Equal Pay- Where Are We Now?

Editor’s Note: This blog was written and submitted by Vision 2020 Arkansas Delegate Robin Hall Guadagnini.

Robin Hall GTuesday, April 9 is “Equal Pay Day”.  What does that mean for women’s wages today?

Thankfully we have seen some strides with the Lilly Ledbetter Act and Paycheck Fairness Act.

But I am still amazed at the disparity of pay nationally between men and women.   The push for equal pay for equal work began in 1963.  The national average of disparity between women working the same job as a man in 1963 was 60% and today it is 77%.  So technically it took us 50 years to lessen the gap by 17%.

That would mean that by using the national average of $.77 for women versus  $1.00 per hour for men it would break down like this:  If you take that lost $.33 and put that to an actual salary – of say $30,000 – that would be $9,900 of a difference in an annual salary. That is almost $10,000 difference in what a man would earn and what a woman would earn in one year.  The national statistics show that a woman would have close to $400,000 in lost income over their lifetime.  This lost income is not only in take home pay, but will affect the amount of Social Security benefits they will qualify for, and would mean significantly less contributed to a retirement plan with their employer.

I am happy to report two things for Arkansas, my home state and one for which I am a national Delegate for Vision 2020 (which has as one of their National goals to “Achieve Pay Equity”).  First, Senator Mark Pryor (D-Arkansas) has announced he is supporting Equal Pay Day and the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and Paycheck Fairness Act.  And secondly, Arkansas has women earning 82 cents for every dollar paid to men (better than the national average) according to 2011 statistics (from the AAUW).

To me this inequality should not be acceptable. We are mothers and daughters and wives. We are old, young, middle-aged. We are Democrats, Republicans, Independents.   We are women, who are just wanting to be paid the same wage for the same job, and stop being under-served in so many of the working arenas.

Paycheck Equality day is approaching….and we need to use our voice, our words, and our compassion to get the word out that we are “fed up and we are not going to take it anymore”.

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About equalityinsight

Vision 2020 is a national coalition of organizations and individuals united in their commitment to achieve women’s economic and social equality. Join Vision 2020 today! http://www2.drexelmed.edu/vision2020giftsonline/Individual.aspx
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