Monday, April 16, 2012

equal pay day.

just like tax day, it comes around each year,
& is always a little depressing.
equal pay day.

49 years ago, president john f. kennedy signed
the equal pay act of 1963.
today, women still must work until mid-april of this year
in order to earn what the average american male earned last year.
yep — today's the day we catch up with where the men were january 1st.

according to the latest u.s. census stats,
full-time working women earn 77 cents for every dollar earned by men.
& naturally, the gap is wider for women of color.

*heavy. sigh.*

ok. so, the better-than-nothing news is,
president obama has flagged equal pay as a priority.
in fact, in his 2012 state of the union address, the president said,
" ... an economy built to last is one where we encourage
the talent & ingenuity of every person in this country.
that means women should earn equal pay for equal work."

so, what is the president doing to walk that talk?

1) he created the equal pay task force.
since its creation two years ago, the eptf has helped:

:: increase enforcement actions;

:: increase recovered money for women seeking
their fair share for doing the same work as men;

:: increase outreach to employers & employees alike,
with rewarding results; &

:: make sure the full weight of the federal government
is centered on closing the gender pay gap for good.

2) the department of labor is gathering & distributing good pay-gap info.

:: a solution to the gender pay-gap problem has been difficult
in large part because access to essential information has been limited.
the equal pay app challenge invited software developers to use
publicly available data & resources to create applications that provide
— greater access to pay data, organized by gender, race & ethnicity,
— interactive tools for early career coaching or online mentoring, or
— data to help inform pay negotiations.
the winners of the challenge have been announced, &
soon, anyone with a smartphone, tablet or computer
will be able to easily access the info they need to make sure they're paid fairly.

:: the dol has also just published two new brochures
to educate employees regarding their rights &
to ensure employers understand their obligations
under existing equal-pay laws.

let's hope once more americans know better,
more americans will do better.
until then, tip your waitress an extra 23% today,
in "celebration" of equal pay day.

image source: fringepop.

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