April 14th is Equal Pay Day

Today is a symbolic day for those who continue to fight for equal pay. Women typically earn $.78 to a man’s $1.00. April 14th marks the time of year when women catch up to men’s salaries from the previous calendar year. Why is that? There are plenty of answers: hours worked, discrimination in the workplace, job choice, etc. We analyze some of these issues below.

Blatant gender discrimination and objectification is not as relevant these days as it was five or six decades ago, however, there are still road blocks to a woman’s success in the employment force. Though women are more likely to go to college than men, some “traditional” concerns still make it difficult for a woman to get passed the same obstacles from the ‘50s and 60s. For example, no matter how educated a woman is, if she decides to have children while pursuing her career, it is to her detriment that a company lacks ample maternity leave or help for childcare.

However, there are always two sides to every story. There are ways women can take the initiative to help narrow the gender wage gap, as well. Statistically, women don’t ask for raises or higher job salaries upon being offered the job like men do. According to a survey conducted by LinkedIn, only 27% of women asked for a raise during a year period as opposed to 84% of men. Some, though not all, of the gender gap can be explained and solved if women took the money on the table just by asking for it.

There is no easy or simple fix to the wage gender gap. However, both sides need to work together to make it possible for Equal Pay Day’s objective come true.

Source: Wall Street Journal and Washington Post