Equal Pay Day: Why It’s Important


Equal Pay Day, commemorated on April 12th this year, represents the approximate day that women must work to in the current year to make the same amount of money men did in the previous year. In other words, the equal pay calculation means that a woman must have worked all of one year and well into the next year to be paid what men were paid in one year alone. The gender-based wage gap represents a pattern that has existed over many years and reflects multiple barriers to equal pay, including gender- and race-based pay discrimination, segregation of women into lower paying jobs and exclusion from higher-paying nontraditional jobs as well as lack of workplace policies that make it difficult for women to care for families without suffering an economic penalty.

$10,800 Less Income  – The wage gap of 79 cents (rounded up from 78.6 percent) is the median earnings in 2014 (latest data available) of women full-time, year round workers as a percentage of the median earnings of men full-time, year round workers, according to the Current Population Survey, U.S. Census Bureau. The 21.4 percent gap represents nearly $10,800 in lower annual earnings for all women at the median – which accumulated over a 40 year working career is a huge loss in income.

NOW was the first women’s organization to publicize not only the traditional, all women’s Equal Pay Day, but also the dates that symbolize how much harder women of color must work to make the same as their male counterparts from the previous year. So to continue that conversation about the pay gap to include the income inequalities which exist along racial as well as gender lines, the NOW again recognizes multiple Equal Pay Days.

2016 Equal Pay Day Dates

The wage disparity in the U.S. persists not only between men and women but also varies considerably by race and this pattern has persisted over many decades. Although women (of all races) are paid $.79 for every dollar men (all races, across all occupations) are paid, the wage gaps for nearly all other major racial groups are dramatically wider. Only the Asian American women’s wage gap is smaller – but many smaller sub-groups of Asian-American women have a much larger wage gap. The wage gaps and Equal Pay Days noted below are based on calculations using 2014 median year round, full time earnings.

March 15 – Asian-American Women’s Equal Pay Day (88%)

April 12 – Traditional Equal Pay Day (79%)

August 23 – African American Women’s Equal Pay Day (63%)

September 14 – Native American Women’s Equal Pay Day (59%)

November 1 – Latina Women’s Equal Pay Day (54%)


Twitter Suggestions:

Hashtag: #EqualPayNOW #equalpayday #equalpay

Traditional Equal Pay Day – April 12

–  It’s #EqualPayDay – 79 cents is the median pay for all women compared to the $1 paid to men. #EqualPayNOW

–  Think all women earn 79% of what men earn? Think again. Many #WOC earn even less. #EqualPayNOW

–  As of April 12, women have been paid the same amount by working into the second year men received in the previous year alone. #EqualPayNOW

–  Women are paid 79¢ for every dollar a man receives—adding up to an approx. $1,000K/yr. wage gap compared to white, non-Hispanic men. #EqualPayNOW

–  The average pay gap for women across racial lines is about 79% of what men are paid. #EqualPayNOW

General Equal Pay – Use Any Time

– Disclosing salary to fellow workers: not protected by Equal Pay Act. ~50% of private companies will fire you for doing so. #EqualPayNOW

–  At this rate, the U.S. wage gap will not close until 2059. #WeWontWaitFor2059 #EqualPayNOW #PaycheckFairnessAct

–  The worldwide wage gap will take another 118 years to close at the current rate. #EqualPayNOW

–  The Equal Pay Act passed over 50 years ago—but we still haven’t closed the wage gap. #EqualPayNOW

–  Substantially equal work deserves #EqualPayNOW!

–  Women are over 2 times more likely than men to work jobs with poverty wages. #EqualPayNOW

– Approx. 2/3 of minimum wage workers are women, even though they make up <1/2 of the overall workforce. #EqualPayNOW

–  Help women – increase the minimum wage! bit.ly/1c1mpHu #EqualPayNOW

–  This year’s high school graduates will be 61 by the time the pay gap closes. #EqualPayNOW

– The pay gap means losing up to $1mil over a 40 year career. What would you do w/ YOUR $1mil? #EqualPayNOW #IWantMyMillion

For More Information:

For more information about Equal Pay Days, example Tweets for other 2016 Equal Pay dates, some graphics to post, and more resources, see NOW’s Equal Pay Social Media Kit.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. ♀ Paradise Kendra ♀
    Apr 13, 2016 @ 16:37:17

    Reblogged this on Paradise Kendra ☼ and commented:

    Equal Pay Day — why it’s important! Let’s ratify the Equal Rights Amendment!



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s