Equal Pay Day, gender pay gap, pay equity
Women earn about 80 cents on every dollar earned by men in the U.S.

Since 1997, Equal Pay Day -- this year April 4 -- is a time to reflect on the gender pay gap in America.

Women in the U.S. do not earn as much as their male counterparts and recent studies suggest the pay gap won’t close for more than 100 years.

Started by the National Committee on Pay Equity, Equal Pay Day symbolizes the difference between men’s and women’s earnings. It is always in April, to show that a woman must work more than 15 months to earn what a man earns in 12 months. And it is always on a Tuesday to "represent how far into the next work week women must work to earn what men earned the previous week."

In plain terms, because women earn less on average, they must work longer for the same pay.


Here are seven facts about Equal Pay Day that should motivate everyone to keep fighting:

1. Progress is slow, and if current trends continue, women won’t see equal pay for another 117 years.
The pace of change is known to be frustratingly slow and the road to pay equality is no different.
The gap in wage equality and labor force parity has shrunk by just 3 percent over the past 10 years, and the World Economic Forum has said at the current rate, salaries won’t level out for another 117 years.

2. Women earn around 80 cents for every dollar men earn.
The exact size of the gender pay gap depends of who you ask, but it’s pretty close.
Women earned just 79.6 cents for every dollar men did in 2015, according to data from the Census Bureau.  The Labor Department put that figure at about 82 cents for every dollar a man made in 2016.
The gap narrows when factors like education level, type of work, experience and job tenure are taken into account.

3. Minority women make even less.
The gender pay gap gets even wider when race is thrown in the mix.
Hispanic women made 54 cents for every dollar earned by white men, and black women earn 63 cents on that dollar. Asian women, however, were earning about 85 cents for every dollar earned by white men, according to the National Women’s Law Center.

4. The average woman loses out on almost $500,000 over the course of her career.
Most women make an average of $430,480 less than their male counterparts over the course of a 40-year career. For black women, that gap grows to $877,480, while for Hispanic women, it adds up to over $1 million, according to the National Women’s Law Center.

5. That doesn’t mean women can’t win.
Despite the odds stacked against them, women are fighting back. The U.S. Women’s National Hockey team fought for salaries and bonuses equal to their male counterparts, and won. The championship team stuck together, threatening to boycott the world championship games this year if they didn’t make equal pay. Now they’re each making about $70,000 per year, according to the Denver Post.

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