America was founded on the ideal that all of us are created equal – that ideal should hold true at home and at work. But the average woman still earns just 79 cents for every dollar a man makes, and the picture is even worse for women of color.

Equal Pay

America is a nation founded on the ideal that all of us are created equal – and this ideal should hold true at home and at work. Paying people fairly for the work they do should not depend on gender or race, but our country is falling short of this ideal across all sectors of the economy.

Over the past 50 years, women have made incredible advances in the workforce, joining virtually every profession and establishing themselves as leaders in every industry. The federal Equal Pay Act of 1963 and the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009 helped to narrow the gender pay gap, but they were not enough. Today, women still only earn 79 cents for every dollar a man makes – and the picture is even worse for women of color. African American women make 60 cents, and Latinas only 55 cents, per each dollar made by white men. It’s unacceptable that today, with millions of women functioning as breadwinners in their households, the gender pay gap is still a reality.

TODAY, TWO OF EVERY THREE AMERICAN WOMEN ARE THE SOLE OR EQUAL BREADWINNERS IN THEIR FAMILIES. YET THE WORKPLACE AND MANY PUBLIC POLICIES STILL HAVEN’T CAUGHT UP WITH TODAY’S AMERICA”

— Lilly Ledbetter, plaintiff in wage discrimination case Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.

Closing the wage gap and ensuring equal pay is good for women, for working families, and for the entire economy – leading to a more productive workforce, less turnover, and stronger families that have more buying power. Equal pay would mean the poverty rate for working women would be cut in half, lifting almost three million women out of poverty. That translates to more money to help pay rent, afford gas, buy groceries, and provide child care for America’s next generation of workers. Importantly, these increased wages would also mean $447.6 billion in additional income circulating through the U.S. economy – a figure that is approximately 2.9% of the GDP.

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