It’s no secret that women in the US are paid less than men for equal work. And, according to recent research, it’s happening in all industries, at every level.
To bring awareness to the long-standing gender pay gap issue, Americans observe Equal Pay Day – originated by the National Committee on Pay Equity (NCPE) in 1996 – every April.
This year, the day falls on Tuesday, April 12, which marks how far into the year women must work to earn what men earned in the previous year.
As the Chicago Tribune points out, the “perennial topic” of pay equality “has come to the forefront thanks to Hillary Clinton‘s attention to the issue and big tech companies publicly striving to close pay discrepancies.”
At the event Tuesday morning, Clinton said: “We’re here to talk about this pay gap. … It’s important to make the point that the failure to ensure equal pay for women also impacts families and the broader economy.”
She said not everyone is yet convinced this issue event exists, and that “there’s still a lot of misinformation.”
Clinton said these are three of the biggest myths that exist around the gender pay gap:
1. “Some say there isn’t really a gender pay gap – well that is just wrong,” said Clinton. “The typical woman working full time in 2014 was paid 79% of what men were paid. When you break it down for African American women, it was 60%, and for Latinas, it was 55%. And the last time I checked, there’s no discount for being a woman – groceries don’t cost less for us.”
2. “Some say this is just a problem for women … that men don’t have to worry,” she said. “That’s wrong. If you’re a man married to a woman, a man who is the son of a working woman, or the father to a young working woman, this is your problem, too.”
3. “The last myth is [that] we can’t solve these problems,” she said. “But we can if we summon the political will.”
- Jacquelyn Smith/Business Insider
Joining Clinton at the roundtable were Robert Hohman, cofounder and CEO of Glassdoor; Lori Nishiura Mackenzie, executive director of Stanford’s Clayman Institute for Gender Research; Megan Rapinoe, a World Cup champion and Olympic gold medalist; Dan Henkle, president of Gap Foundation and SVP of global sustainability of Gap Inc.; Tracy Sturdivant, cofounder and co-executive director of Make It Work; and moderator Diane Brady, an award-winning journalist who previously worked for Bloomberg and the Wall Street Journal.
Glassdoor found that the unadjusted pay gap in the US between men and women is 24.1%, meaning women earn about $0.76 for every $1 men earn, which is consistent with many reports. However, when Glassdoor controls for variables such as age, education, experience, occupation, industry, location, year, specific company and job title, the adjusted gender pay gap shrinks to 5.4%, which is still a notable and significant gap for which there appears to be no explanation. (Read more here on Glassdoor’s research.)
“This Pay Day, let’s commit to doing our part to making America a more equitable place,” Clinton said.
Watch the live broadcast of the roundtable event here.