Pay equity is a process of eliminating gender and race discrimination when establishing and maintaining wages. However, today many workers are still divided into various jobs which historically are underpaid because of the gender and race of those obtaining these positions.
The wage gap is a harsh reality for women, regardless of education and work experience. The wage gap typically translates into more than $10,000 per year in lost earnings for women. According to the Institute for Women’s Policy and Research, today’s women in the U.S. make $0.80 on the dollar compared to their male counterparts. Black and Hispanic women make 62.5% and 54.4% of what their male colleagues earn.
Pay equity is about more than just equalizing salaries. Pay equity means creating equal opportunities for high-paying positions and evaluating areas of bias that may prohibit hiring and promotions.
Pay Equity has been an issue for decades, but it has recently jumped to the forefront of many companies around the world. The #MeToo movement, as well as other movements seeking to promote gender and racial equality, are calling for a change in corporate culture, are the likely reasons for this increase in interest.
Almost all states have equal pay laws. That being said, many of these laws were put into effect a long time ago and lacked any emphasis on discriminatory pay practices for workers. States and local municipalities have begun to carefully examine their laws to close the pay gap. While state and local governments have been working to change, growth on the federal level is slow in coming.
It’s important to keep calling for new legislation and laws that would make the workplace fair for women. It’s unjustified for women to receive less pay than men as women make up a substantial percentage of the workforce.
As noted by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, if things continue to change at the current pace, we’ll be waiting until 2059 for equal pay – and that’s an optimistic outlook.
Plato once said, “If women are expected to do the same work as men, we must teach them the same things.” Women are taught the same things as men and do the same work as men. Isn’t it time that they got paid the same wages?