Wait a Minute! Why Am I Getting Paid Less Than My Male Coworkers?

It has been 56 long years trying to close the wage gap! Too long with too little success…

The Equal Pay Act was signed in 1963, making it illegal for employers to pay unequal wages to men and women who hold the same job and do the same work. At the time of the EPA’s passage, women earned just 58 cents for every dollar earned by men. By 2013, that rate had increased to 78 cents.

Well, here we are now in 2019! Let’s review the latest statistics but please do not get upset, discouraged or mad at me for just sharing the information!

White women earn 79 cents for every dollar men make, that’s the base gender pay gap in the U.S using median hourly earning statistics and not controlling for job type differences or seniority, relative to white men. African American women earn approximately 65 cents for every dollar men make and Latina women earn 58 cents for every dollar men make. It is very interesting to note than Asian women earn 87 cents for every dollar men make.

Are you now ready to hear the good news and the bad news? Good news first: The wage gap is expected to close! The bad news…It will be another 50 years to see this happen!

I am sure you will agree that it’s well past time to close the wage gap. I am not sure about you but I can’t sit down and wait for another 50 years for the wage gap to close for us, for our sisters, for our daughters and grand-daughters.

What can we do to help close the gap? I find myself going back to the same 2 simple things we can do right now to close the wage gap for ourselves and future generations.

  1. Research and know the facts – research and find out what the current going rate is for the position we are applying for in the geographic area we will be working in. We have to do our homework and do it thoroughly! We have to make sure we factor in the total compensation package including benefits. We need to know all the facts!
  2. Learn to negotiate – we need to be skilled in negotiating our salary and benefits to get what we deserve. If needed, we can take courses on how to negotiate and learn that negotiation is a tactic that should be used to get the proper compensation based on our skills. knowledge and abilities. It’s time that we sharpen our skills in this area to compete for the same salaries and opportunities.

Elga Lejarza-Penn, aPHR, PHR, SPHR, SHRM-CP, SHRM-SCP

If you would like to learn more about the Equal Pay Act (EPA) and other Employment Laws please join me at one of my 2-Day Certificate Programs.

If you would like to learn more about our SHRM-CP, SHRM-SCP, aPHR, PHR or SPHR Exam Prep Programs click here.

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