Date: 12 April 2016
Author: Alicia Adamczyk
Today is Equal Pay Day, the symbolic date on the calendar when women’s wages “catch up” to what men earned in the previous year.
Across industries, white women make about 79 cents to the white man’s dollar, while black women make 66 cents and Hispanic women bring home just 59 cents.
The good news is that the gender wage gap is shrinking, if slowly. In 1970, white women earned 70 cents on the dollar. Now, women are more educated and more experienced, and society in general is more aware of the gap than ever before. Companies like Pinterest and Salesforce have made headlines vowing to close the gap within their own walls; President Obama has pushed for employers to make compensation more transparent to employees. So why is budging the needle on equal pay taking so long?
Perhaps you’re heard some of the common explanations. Men are simply more ambitious; women leave the workforce to have babies; women choose lower-paying professions. While on the surface some of those rationales appear to be justified, a more nuanced examination tells a much different story.