Monday marks 50 years since the Equal Pay Act was signed into law by President John F. Kennedy as an amendment to the Fair Labor Standards Act. The law stipulates that women must be paid equal wages for equal work. Yet a half century later, the gender wage gap still stands at 77 cents earned by a woman for every dollar a man makes.
Some studies estimate that the gender wage gap might not close until 2057. Despite making great strides in the past 50 years, the gender wage gap in the United States has stagnated for almost a decade.
President Barack Obama marked the 50th anniversary of Equal Pay Act that was supposed to abolish wage disparity based on sex by saying the gains made by women haven’t completely closed the gap on wages.
It’s been a big week for women in the workplace. According to a Pew Research Center report (PDF) released on Wednesday, mothers now represent 40 percent of all breadwinners in U.S. households with kids, a huge gain from the 11 percent of 1960.
Women in full-time year-round jobs earned 77 cents for every dollar earned by a man. Yet, at a town hall earlier this week, Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) claimed that Congress has done enough to ensure that women receive equal pay for equal work.
Maryland lawmakers have proposed legislation that would make it mandatory for the state’s employers to offer paid sick leave to their workers. The bill, if passed, would make Maryland the second state in the country to implement such a policy.
Women in North Carolina have narrowed the gap with men in terms of wages and have made advances in obtaining higher education and in access to health care in recent years, according to a study released Thursday.
Nearly four years after the District enacted a law that made it mandatory for most workplaces to offer paid sick days to employees, advocacy groups and researchers are ramping up pressure on the city to review the policy to determine whether it’s been effective at protecting local workers.
While it has been argued that science, technology, engineering and math may open the door to more job opportunities, it seems that fewer women are pursuing those courses of study, at least at the nation’s community colleges.
The Great Recession of 2007-09 included job losses that were so much greater for men than for women that some dubbed it the “mancession.”
But once the nation went into recovery – meaning the economy was expanding again, albeit slowly – men saw much stronger job gains than women. In fact women actually lost jobs in the first two years of the recovery, while men gained ground, according to a Pew Research Center report.
After the worst economic downturn in nearly a century, men continue to earn more than women in 361 metropolitan areas in the country, an annual survey by the Census Bureau found. If current trends continue, it will take 45 years for women’s salaries to equal that of men’s, research by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research shows.
According to Steinem, U.S. women earn an average of $2 million less over the course of their lifetimes than men. It isn’t because they stop working sooner, she said. “It’s because they are paid unequally.”