The Equal Pay Act was signed into law in 1963 by President John F. Kennedy. Back then a woman could expect to earn 59 cents for every dollar that a man made. According to the National Partnership for Women and Families, today that number has increased to 80 cents.
That is still quite a disparity when one considers these facts:
- A woman’s salary over her lifetime will total $1 million less than a man’s.
- The wage gap exists across all industries from academia to factories. Even if a woman chooses a career in a traditionally male-dominated field, she will still earn less.
- $840 billion is the economic loss experienced when the salaries of all full time working women are added together.
- Women live longer than men, but because of the wage gap, will retire with less, often in poverty. Because their working paychecks were less, they will also receive less in Social Security payments.
- Ten million American households are headed by women, but only one in three receives child support from the father. Many of these female single parent households are low-income. Their children end up as victims of the wage gap as well.
- Women who are full-time caregivers sacrifice career and salary entirely.
Age, education level and experience have no effect on the persistence of the wage gap. Outside factors like geographic location and unionization also make no difference. So what can be done to improve the wages of women?
Eliminating the Wage Gap
Research shows that salary transparency is a big factor in reducing the gap between men and women’s earnings. When a corporation makes salaries public knowledge, awareness of pay disparities increases. Awareness is a major factor in change.
Managers hiring new employees must ignore the pay history of female candidates. Basing salary on past history only continues the wage discrimination against women.
Women should learn how to successfully negotiate pay raises and companies need to encourage it. Studies show that in addition to being less likely to ask for a raise, women often experience retaliatory actions at work when they do ask. For men, this behavior is both expected and rewarded. Statistically speaking, when a man and a woman ask for similar raises, the man is three times as likely to get one.
Businesses can also support women in the workplace by having flexible work schedules for those with families. Parental leave, affordable child care, and paid sick days are all benefits that can attract women and help them be productive and successful employees.
Philadelphia Employment Lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates P.C. Fight for Equal Pay for Women
Because of the Equal Pay Act, it is against the law for an employer to discriminate against an employee based on gender. By law, men and women should receive equal pay for equal work. If you suspect you are not being paid correctly, the Philadelphia employment lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates P.C. will fight to make sure you receive proper compensation. Call us at 215-569-1999 or contact us online. We are located in Center City Philadelphia serving clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey.