Women's wages still aren't keeping up with men's
Despite positive developments like the passing of The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act in 2009, a significant pay gap still exists between women and men.
According to a report produced by the American Association of University Women, "Graduating to a Pay Gap," a typical college-educated woman working full-time earned $35,296 a year, compared to $42,918 for a man one year after graduating from college. After controlling for factors such as college major and hours worked, much of the pay gap remains unexplained.
Many women are still pigeonholed in "pink-collar jobs," such as social work, nursing and teaching, which tend to pay lower wages. Moreover, the wage gap has long-term effects on women's economic security, as it means less income to save for retirement and fewer benefits.
In 2011, women earned only 77 percent of what men earned, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. In order to match men's earnings for 2012, women must work from January 2012 into April 2013.
Equal Pay Day, which will be observed this year on April 9, symbolizes the date to which a woman must work to achieve pay equity for the previous year. As president of the Rochester AAUW, I urge you to learn more about the pay gap and strategies to promote pay equity by downloading the full report at www.aauw.org/research/graduating-to-a-pay-gap/ .
Equity is still an issue.