Are Your Tax Dollars Supporting Unequal Pay?
Wage gap stuck at 23 cents (still!)
Your action is needed to move the needle.
On September 17, the U.S. Census Bureau released new data on the gender wage gap – but there's nothing "new" about it. In 2012, women still earned just 77 cents, on average, for every dollar earned by their male counterparts. That number hasn’t budged in the last decade, and it's about time our nation's leaders did something about it.
For two years, the U.S. Department of Labor has been saying it will develop a new tool to collect information on salaries, wages, and other benefits earned by employees of federal contractors and subcontractors. This tool is essential to giving employees and employers the information they need to end pay discrimination, and it's essential to giving the Department of Labor the information it needs to make sure employers receiving our tax dollars are following the law. Urge the Department of Labor to speed up its work on this data collection tool today!
The wage gap isn't just a number on the page – it means less money for food, education, housing, and retirement for millions of women and families nationwide. It affects real people:
People like Lilly Ledbetter.
People like Maxine, an AAUW member in Iowa who encountered pay discrimination twice in her career as an educator.
People like Anastasia in Oregon, who learned that her male colleagues, one of whom didn't even have a college degree compared to her bachelor’s degree in physics, were getting paid a higher salary and earning vacation time at a faster rate than she did.
Knowledge is power. These women and the millions like them need the knowledge that would come from the Department of Labor's new data collection tool. Since 2006, the federal government has had NO tool to effectively monitor wage discrimination based on race, national origin and gender by private employers – that means our tax dollars could be going to federal contractors who are not paying women fairly, and that is unacceptable. Two months ago, the Department of Labor got a new leader, and this data collection tool should be one of the first items on Secretary Perez's agenda.
As an AAUW "Two-Minute Activist," you stood hand-in-hand with Lilly Ledbetter and Betty Dukes as they fought for fair pay against some of the largest employers in the United States. As courageous as they have been, women like them shouldn't have to go it alone. Stand with them again: Help us give the Department of Labor the push it needs to finalize the data collection tool!