Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Why does she earn less?

Yesterday, Tuesday, April 28 was Equal Pay Day. 

Today, 56 percent of working women earn less than $30,000 a year and only 7 percent earn more than $75,000; in contrast, 39 percent of men earn less than $30,000 and 18 percent earn more than $75,000. Women, on average, are paid 78 cents for every dollar a man makes.  For those ages 65 and older, the income gap between women and men is even larger—older men’s median annual income was almost twice that of older women ($23,500 and $13,603 respectively).   

So, why does she earn less? 

Part of the wage gap between the sexes is the result of differences in education, experience, or time spent out of the paid workforce; but a significant portion of the gap cannot be explained by any of these factors, and may simply be the result of wage discrimination. Working women pay a steep price for unequal pay. The typical working woman with a college degree will make about $500,000 less in wages over her lifetime than an equivalent male—an amount that could provide a comfortable retirement nest egg.

Take Action

From The National Committee on Pay EquityUrge your senators to support the Paycheck Fairness Act:

The House passed the Paycheck Fairness Act to strengthen enforcement of the Equal Pay Act on January 9, 2009. Please urge your senators to support S.182. The Paycheck Fairness Act would ensure effective remedies for wage discrimination and make it easier to sue on behalf of groups of women. Read NCPE's Feb. 23, 2009 letter to senators urging quick action on the Paycheck Fairness Act (S.182). 


For more on the gender wage gap, go to

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