Equal Pay Day Is Great, Now What About the Other 364 Days

Pink and blue figures on different coin stacks. Concept for gender pay gap.
Pink and blue figures on different coin stacks. Concept for gender pay gap.

I know you're probably thinking blah blah blah gender pay gap blah blah I heard about that on equal pay day. But guess what -- equal pay day has come and gone and shockingly the 24 hours of shining publicity didn't fix the problem.

We all know women have been fighting for equal pay for centuries. Even as far back as 1869 women have questioned why they don't make as much as men who are doing the same job. Fast forward almost 150 years and we're still asking the same question. It feels like we're still getting the "just because" answer we've always been getting. "Just because" shouldn't cut it anymore.

Over the course of a 40-year career, research from the National Women's Law Center shows women will earn $430,480 less than their male counterparts. For Latinas, this lifetime wage gap totals $1,007,080, and for African American women, the losses are $877,480. If that's not bad enough, Hired did a study recently that showed that 69% of the time men earn more money than women for the same job. Women reading this should be downright disgusted.

If a woman is hired for the same job as a man and is expected to perform the same duties, then she should be paid exactly the same salary. Period. On average, Hired found companies offer women 3% less than men for the same roles, with some companies offering as low as 30% less.

So the big question is why can't we close the gender pay gap? We could petition our government, but seeing change could take some time since there is even a gender pay gap at the White House. The 2015 Report to Congress on White House Staff found that women working for the Obama administration are paid 84.2 cents for every dollar a man earns. How sad! Does anyone have an explanation as to how this is allowed to happen? If the White House can't even pay women fairly we can't expect there to be equal pay at various companies around the country.

Despite the fact that gender inequality runs rampant all over the country, there are a couple of companies who have come out to brag that they are paying men and women the same. Both Microsoft and Facebook have recently announced they have no gender pay gap. If they seemed to have fixed the problem for their workers, why can't everyone else? If you listen closely you can hear the crickets in the background.

It seems like the only way we can provoke change is to stand up for ourselves and demand it. When we are hired in a new job we need to ask employers how much our male counterparts with the same job title are making. If it's more, we need to question why. We need to know why are salaries are not matching. We cannot continue to roll over and play dead for fear of ruffling some feathers. We need to fight for what is rightfully ours. We need to be consistent and relentless in fighting for equal pay.

While things like the annual Equal Pay Day in April bring attention to the gender pay gap, it's only one day out of the year. We need to fight for the cause the other 364 days as well. That's the only way things are going to change. Until then we can continue to count our losses because our gains are certainly not going to measure up.