Wage earning gap between sexes marked with Equal Pay Day
Equal Pay Day means that a woman has to work about this far into 2014 to earn what a man earned in 2013, so a little over three months to catch up. It's that pay gap that the Lawyer's Club of San Diego set out to raise awareness of Tuesday. The club held it's second annual Equal Pay Day leadership luncheon, hoping to raise awareness of the pay gap between men and women. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, women who work full-time still earn, on average, $0.77 for every $1 men earn. Those numbers are only slightly better for San Diego County.
“In San Diego County, women earn about 80% on average of what men earn,” stated Kelly Jenkins-Pultz of the U.S. Department of Labor Women's Bureau. “The wage gap in San Diego is a little bit better because both men and women earn a little more than men and women do nationally.”
Jenkins-Pultz says the pay gap is an issue that working women have been talking about for many years.
“These are issues that women have asked the president to address, that women have asked the members of Congress to address, so it's really coming from the grass-roots; women are tired of being paid less than men for doing the same work.”
Two executive orders signed by the president are designed to strengthen equal pay laws.
“So first I'm going to sign an executive order to create more pay transparency by prohibiting federal contractors from retaliating against employees who discuss their pay with each other,” said President Obama.
The second executive order will require the Secretary of Labor to collect data on compensation from federal contractors organized by race and gender. The actions apply to companies with federal contracts, not all Americans. Meanwhile, House Republicans held a news conference criticizing the president's actions as a political move, since Democrats see equal pay as an issue they can win in the 2014 midterm elections.
“So, on this equal pay day, I would urge us to stop politicizing women and let's start focusing on those policies that are actually going to help women and everyone in this country have a better life,” said Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers.
Debates will continue in Washington, but for women in the workforce, Ann Marie Houghtailing – founder of the Millionaires Girls Movement – has this tip for women: negotiate your pay right out of the gate.
“You need to go in strong, get the most you can possibly get in the beginning, because that is the number by which you will forever be getting your increases along the way,” urged Houghtailing.
Houghtailing also says to be your own advocate and know your marketplace value. Websites like salary.com and glassdoor.com can help you see whether or not you're being paid fairly.