Well, that only took about 100 days. That’s right, kids: It’s Equal Pay Day 2018, otherwise known as the day women’s collective earnings catch up with men’s earnings from the previous year.
Despite being signed 55 years ago, the Equal Pay Act is still wholly unenforced throughout the U.S., with women only making 80 cents on average for each dollar that men make. Today, April 10, is the day symbolically recognized as the date at which women’s earnings from the previous year equal men’s earnings for that year, but even that date is deceptive.
For instance, for Asian-American women, the date was Feb. 22 of this year. For white women, the date is actually April 17 (just in time to turn in 2017 taxes—yay!). For black women, it will be Aug. 7, while Native American women won’t catch up until Sept. 27. And Latinas? They hypothetically wait until Nov. 1 to receive wages equal to those of the average man.
What can be done? First, educate yourself about the gender wage gap. Then educate others; the American Association of University Women offers a number of initiatives, while the Equal Pay Today! campaign is launching social media storms and actively engaging with Congress on its year-round mission to “eradicate the long-standing gender wage gap impacting the economic security of women and families through an innovative collaboration of national, regional, and state-based women’s legal advocacy and worker justice groups.” (The campaign also provides a handy calendar.)
Most of all, if you’re lucky enough to be on the winning end of the wage gap, advocate for others. Recognize and call out inequities where you see them, and understand your role in either upholding or helping to end inequities where they exist. Because truly, women are worth more.