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IWPR Publication

Memo to John Roberts: The Gender Wage Gap is Real
by Heidi Hartmann, Ph.D., Barbara Gault, Ph.D., Erica Williams (August 2005)

Equal pay and the wage gap have become central issues in discussions of John Roberts’ nomination to the Supreme Court. Roberts authored documents in 1983 and 1984 suggesting he did not believe that that there was a gender pay gap or that women experienced pay discrimination, and voicing opposition to proposed actions to promote pay equity, including the Equal Rights Amendment and comparable worth remedies. For example, one memo referred to “the purported gender gap,” while another discussed “perceived problems” of gender bias, and another called comparable worth policies “highly objectionable” and “staggeringly pernicious.”1 Census Bureau data show that the gender pay gap was quite real in the 1980’s, and persists today, even among men and women with comparable education levels.

#C362, Fact Sheet, 3 pages
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