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April 24th is National Pay Equity Day April 24, 2007

Posted by John M McKee in Business, Coaching, Notes for Business, Personal Success.


Tuesday, April 24 is the day set aside by the National Committee for Pay Equity.  It falls on a Tuesday because that’s the day of the week that women catch up with the same amount of money that men made in the week before.

The NCPE has been around since 1979.  It’s mission is to eliminate sex and race-based wage discrimination and to achieve pay equity for all.  In 1963 when the Equal Pay Act was signed by Congress, women made 59 cents for every dollar made by men.  By 2005, it had risen to 77 cents.  Some will say that’s pretty good progress – but the reality is that means the gap narrowed by less than 1/2 cent a year in that time.

Over a working lifetime this wage disparity costs the average American woman and her family  an estimated $700,000 to $2 million.  It has a huge impact on her Social Security benefits as a consequence as well.  Research indicates a couple of clear reasons for the wage disparity between guys and gals:  Often, women ( and also people of color of both genders) are segregated into a few low paying job classifications.  Lower educations are always a big factor in the difference.  But a study by the General Accounting Office in 2005 reported that a difference of 20% could not be accounted for by anything but simple discrimination. 

How stupid is that? 

There are some encouraging signs that this unacceptable situation is nearing an end however – more college graduates are female now, and more business startups are being led by women.  This will help to balance the disparity and it won’t take another 20 years to see and feel the impact of this new generation of women.

Hopefully we won’t need to have a National Pay Equity Day in the near future.

                                                                                – john



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