Looks like we aren’t as progressive as we thought. Actually, we’re pretty mediocre when it comes to equal rights. Especially when it concerns the gender pay gap. Since it’s Equal Pay Day, I couldn’t think of a more appropriate topic to write on.
The American Association of University Women issued their annual report concerning equal pay. As it turns out, our state continues to linger in the middle of the pack. This year, unfortunately, we placed 25th.
Meaning we placed in the bottom half of this year’s roundup.
Not only that, local women earn 79 cents per every dollar a man earns. Which means women continue to earn 21 percent less than their male counterparts working the same exact job in this state.
According to census data, men earn an average salary of $64,220 in CT. For women, that number is $50,991. However, depending on which county you live in, that number could be a little worse or better.
For example, those living in Joe Larson’s district, they have the smallest gender pay gap in the state. In that district, men on average earn $60,766 while women earn $50,437 a year. This creates an earnings ratio of 83.0%.
Joe Courtney’s district has the largest gender pay gap. Men on average in that district earn $63,058 while women earn $49,289 a year. So, this area’s earnings ratio is 78.2%.
Also, for a state that claims to be progressive: moms face an even worse pay gap. Which might explain why CT has a criminally low birth rate…
Also, POC women also face worse pay inequality in this state, as well.
Latina women only earn 54 cents per the man’s dollar while black women earn 63 cents.
On top of that, this means our state has a worse gender pay gap than the national average. Currently, it rests at 80 cents per dollar.
Equal Pay day lands on April 10th, a day that symbolizes that women must work at least three more months to attain the same pay as men. It’s also a day activists beseech lawmakers to do something to close the pay gap.
They claim when women earn less than men for doing the same job, the economy suffers:
“Pay inequity harms our families and employers, while also robbing our economy of billions of dollars. There’s no reason we shouldn’t be able to close the pay gap, and do it soon. At AAUW, we’re aiming to eliminate the gap by 2030. It’s ambitious, but achievable, if we all take the right actions.”
They claim the national economy would gain$512.6 billion if women received equal pay. They added that since women make up more than half of the nation’s workforce, change needs to happen. Meaning, the national economy stands to earn even more as women continue to become the majority of the national workforce.
Considering Connecticut’s economy remains one of the most under-performing nationally, it might be in our politicians best interest to look into this.
The state currently prohibits wage discrimination based on gender. The state also protects workers who might sue to attain equal pay. On top of that, the state prohibits employers from disciplining their workers for disclosing salary information.
Unfortunately, Connecticut doesn’t have a law that prohibits companies from using salary history to come up with a new hire’s wages. However, that might change. There is a bill out there that mandates employers to not base future pay on prior wages.
But, as always, more can be done. For example, the AAUW recommends reinstating the EEOC’s wage data collection. Unfortunately, the U.S. Office of Management and Budget halted data collection last year.
The organization also recommends a Paycheck Fairness Act to plug the loopholes currently plaguing the 1963 Equal Pay Act.
However, the company says Congress cannot act alone. If change is to happen, everyone has to play their part. That’s why they plan on training 10 million women in wage negotiations so they know their worth. They already launched their digital experience: “It’s Negotiable: Salary Skill Builder.” Click HERE to learn more
So, what do you think? Why do you think women are paid less than men? Is it because they don’t speak up or is it because they don’t have the same work ethic as men?
Either way, if we want a healthy economy, women need to either step up and demand more money, or our employers need to take action. And they should take action sooner rather than later.