“It’s indisputable that there’s a real pay gap. People can argue about how big, but that’s almost besides the point. … The point is that every woman, every girl deserves to get paid what they’re worth.” - Sheryl Sandberg
Because this blog focuses on issues related to working moms, I have to point out that today is "Equal Pay Day". Contrary to what some people may think, it remains necessary. The purpose of Equal Pay Day is to educate people about the pay disparity between men and women. In the United States today, women only make about 70 cents for every dollar made by a man. In my primary profession as an attorney, women make roughly 77 cents for every dollar male attorneys make. As a woman who has worked Full Time since graduating college, with the exception of graduate school, I have to say these statistics really make me mad.
Women Want Equal Pay for Equal Work
I don't work for vanity. My paycheck is essential for my family’s livelihood. I haven't gotten a pass to work less than a Full Time job in exchange for a reduced pay check. Instead, the jobs I have done the same job as my male colleagues. I have had the same education and I have passed the same exams. Still, someone has determined that my male colleagues are somehow worth more by virtue of their biology.
When Women Make Less Money They Have Less Spending Power, But the Same Obligations
To punctuate the point, we need to recognize what this means. This means that I work as hard as a man, but get less money. I pay the same for goods and services as men, but my money doesn’t go as fay. I pay the same for goods and services. Nobody has given me a gender specific tax break. I don’t get “female prices” when I buy things. And I definitely don’t receive any additional government benefits that are restricted to women.
Like Chaka Khan said, “I am every woman. It’s all in me.” So, in speaking about myself and my experience, I am speaking about every woman—whether she practices law or not.
When the Exact Percentage of the Gap May be Debatable, We do not have Pay Equity
Some may say that it is inappropriate to try to apply this research to my individual case. After all, it’s a macro study and may not apply to this situation. Some may say, there are many reasons Some may say that the statistics have been manipulated and the wage gap is actually less. Some may say there are reasons for the disparity that relate to choices made by certain women that skew the results. Some may say a lot of things. What they cannot say is America has pay equity for women and for men. And until we can, we have a lot of work to do for ourselves and for our daughters.
SO, WHAT DO YOU THINK? SHOULD EQUAL PAY DAY STILL EXIST?
14 Famous Women Who Know You Deserve Equal Pay – Huffington Post, April 12, 2016
Female Lawyers Can Work Longer And Harder But Will Still Be Paid Less – Think Progress May 6, 2014
The Pay Gap - It's Time To Take It Personally - Forbes, October 28, 2012
Why the Gender-Pay Gap Is Largest for the Highest-Paying Jobs – The Atlantic, December 17, 2014