42% of families rely on mothers to earn at least half of their families' wages. An additional 22% are considered "co-breadwinners," which means they bring in at least a quarter of the money seen by a family in a given year. When these mothers - or anyone - is underpaid, the entire family suffers.
In 2015, the National Women's Law Center calculated that the wage gap amounts to annual loss of $10,876 for women. That adds up to five months of groceries, three months of rent and utilities, three months of child care payments, four months of health insurance, four months of student loans, and seven tanks of gas.
Women and their families aren't the only people who lose out due to the wage gap. People of color, with the exception of Asian men, consistently earn less than white men when examining median hourly earnings. LGBTQ individuals are more likely to face wage inequality than their heterosexual counterparts. Workers with disabilities earn $0.63 for every $1.00 earned by their non-disabled colleagues.
So yes, we still need to achieve Equal Pay. Here are some things you can do.
- Do you know what the pay gap is like for your job? The Wall Street Journal found that women earn less than men in 439 of 446 major US occupations. Find your occupation here.
- Check out the National Committee on Pay Equity Equal Pay Kit to see sample opeds, letters to the editor, and activities you can do around Equal Pay Day.
- Attend an Equal Pay event. You can join AAUW-PA in Harrisburg, or look for an event in your area.
- Learn more about Equal Pay Days here.