By Karley Powell, Intern
April 2nd marks 91 days since the year began, and in the U.S. that’s how many extra days it takes working women to earn what their male counterparts did the previous year. Equal Pay Day, celebrated today, on April 2, brings awareness to this pay gap.
According to a recent article by Inc., women make $0.79 to every dollar men earn. Experts predict it will “be more than 50 years until those figures are equal.” On Equal Pay Day, we’re taking a look at companies who have made positive strides toward pay equity and have used their positions to advocate for fair treatment across gender, race, orientation and class.
Looking internally before acting externally:
The U.S. women’s soccer team recently made headlines by bringing the public’s attention to the wage gap between men’s and women’s soccer. When the women’s soccer filed a gender discrimination lawsuit against U.S. Soccer, adidas responded by advocating for these women and offering “equal pay, for equal play” to the players it sponsors on the winning Women’s World Cup team, ensuring they receive the same bonus paid to their male counterparts.
This isn’t the first time adidas has focused on the pay gap. Last year, the company participated in the #20percentcounts and #47percentcounts campaigns to increase awareness of equal pay issues. adidas also publishes a pay gap report each year; in 2018, it employed as many men as it did women, and found women were more likely to receive bonuses.
Putting your money where your action is:
P&G’s Secret brand recently released a campaign to support equal pay by advocating for the issue in its new “Equal Pay for All” commercial and by donating a dollar from every stick of Secret Outlast deodorant sold between now and July to a Girls Leading Girls, an organization that supports leadership training and soccer camps for 750 girls.
Secret has long supported Equal Pay Day. In 2018, the brand partnered with Ladies Get Paid, an organization that helps women with career advancement and salary negotiation, and The Wing, a women’s coworking space, to provide a salary negotiation toolkit to help women push for pay equity.
Thinking about intersectionality:
While the overall wage gap is at 20 percent, it doesn’t account for the breakdown between race and ethnicity. By taking a look at women of color, a new perspective is clear: black women are paid 38 percent of their white male counterparts’ salaries, and Latino women receive 47 percent.
Last year, Lyft shared the message of this disparity through messaging on its receipts, asking passengers to compare the pay gap to ending their trips with 38 percent of the ride left. It also celebrated Latina Equal Pay Day with donations to TECHNOLOchicas, a nonprofit that encourages Latina women to create new technologies and become leaders within the industry.
Regardless of industry, size or region, examining and addressing pay equity is something every organization can – and should – get involved in. In fact, it will take a concerted effort from all companies to truly expedite the 91-day difference.