When she learned about the wage gap, she didn't whine. She did something about it.

Perhaps you've heard that women, pretty much everywhere and in every profession (even Jennifer Lawrence!), make less money than men. Here's one way to respond to that.

<span class="redactor-invisible-space"></span>

Maybe this isn't news to you, but women don't make as much money as men, even if they're doing the same job.

Yeah, I REALLY MEAN the same job. The New York Times made this neat interactive chart that lets you explore by narrow industry sectors whether there's a pay gap. The data's from 2009, but it hasn't moved very much. TL;DR: There are three fields in which men make less money than women. Out of like ... 25. At most (postal service clerks), women make 4% more than men. Compare to physicians and surgeons, where women make 40% less than men.

The pay gap exists even for the most successful, driven women.

Remember when Sony got hacked and we got to read all their email?



Jennifer Lawrence, making the exact face I hope she made when she read those emails.

On average, comparing all women to all men, women make about $0.78 less. When you get into the specifics of a particular industry or look at a tighter demographic, the gap can be bigger or smaller.

Even for young, white, college-educated women, who have the smallest pay gap when compared to similar men, it still exists. The Pew Research Center notes that, among workers age 25 to 34, the pay gap is 93%. Which they describe as "near parity."

By my math, if a guy in that group is making $40,000 per year, he's pulling in $2,800 more than the woman in the next cubicle.

That's not "parity."

While it's true that women make different life choices than men — we choose to work in lower-paying professions (but are they lower-paying because they're less valuable to society or because they're traditionally done by women?), we choose to have babies (apparently all by ourselves), and we are more likely to care for sick relatives — those explanations don't account for all of the gap.

A 2012 report from the Department of Labor says about 60% of the pay gap can be attributed to women's choices. But that leaves 40% that is almost definitely discrimination.

And when you factor in race? It gets ugly.


(It's true. I got that stat from the crazy liberals at CNN Money.)

So what can you do about this?

  • Share information about pay equality with your friends. Most people seriously don't know that this is a problem.
  • Ask your business to release pay gap statistics. If it's not equal (and odds are strong that it won't be), demand an explanation.
  • If you're a woman, always negotiate your salary. If it's at all possible for you — do it.
  • If you manage women, review your payment structure to make sure you're paying people fairly.
  • Everybody: Hassle your representatives to pass legislation like the Paycheck Fairness Act (2014).

Crazy as it might sound, an average pay gap of $0.78 is good news. Back in 1963, when Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act, it was $0.59. Jobs aren't listed by gender any more. Most people agree that everyone should be paid equally for equal work. We've made serious progress.

We've still got a long way to go, but history is on our side. We've made progress before, and we'll keep fighting until we close this gap once and for all. Who's with me?!

More

If you're a woman and you want to be a CEO, you should probably think about changing your name to "Jeffrey" or "Michael." Or possibly even "Michael Jeffreys" or "Jeffrey Michaels."

According to Fortune, last year, more men named Jeffrey and Michael became CEOs of America's top companies than women. A whopping total of one woman became a CEO, while two men named Jeffrey took the title, and two men named Michael moved into the C-suite as well.

The "New CEO Report" for 2018, which looks at new CEOS for the 250 largest S&P 500 companies, found that 23 people were appointed to the position of CEO. Only one of those 23 people was a woman. Michelle Gass, the new CEO of Kohl's, was the lone female on the list.

Keep Reading Show less
popular

How much of what we do is influenced by what we see on TV? When it comes to risky behavior, Netflix isn't taking any chances.

After receiving a lot of heat, the streaming platform is finally removing a controversial scenedepicting teen suicide in season one of "13 Reasons Why. The decision comes two years after the show's release after statistics reveal an uptick in teen suicide.

"As we prepare to launch season three later this summer, we've been mindful about the ongoing debate around the show. So on the advice of medical experts, including Dr. Christine Moutier, Chief Medical Officer at the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, we've decided with creator Brian Yorkey and the producers to edit the scene in which Hannah takes her own life from season one," Netflix said in a statement, per The Hollywood Reporter.

Keep Reading Show less
Culture

At Trump's 'Social Media Summit' on Thursday, he bizarrely claimed Arnold Schwarzenegger had 'died' and he had witnessed said death. Wait, what?!


He didn't mean it literally - thank God. You can't be too sure! After all, he seemed to think that Frederick Douglass was still alive in February. More recently, he described a world in which the 1770s included airports. His laissez-faire approach to chronology is confusing, to say the least.

Keep Reading Show less
Democracy

Words matter. And they especially matter when we are talking about the safety and well-being of children.

While the #MeToo movement has shed light on sexual assault allegations that have long been swept under the rug, it has also brought to the forefront the language we use when discussing such cases. As a writer, I appreciate the importance of using varied wording, but it's vital we try to remain as accurate as possible in how we describe things.

There can be gray area in some topics, but some phrases being published by the media regarding sexual predation are not gray and need to be nixed completely—not only because they dilute the severity of the crime, but because they are simply inaccurate by definition.

One such phrase is "non-consensual sex with a minor." First of all, non-consensual sex is "rape" no matter who is involved. Second of all, most minors legally cannot consent to sex (the age of consent in the U.S. ranges by state from 16 to 18), so sex with a minor is almost always non-consensual by definition. Call it what it is—child rape or statutory rape, depending on circumstances—not "non-consensual sex."

Keep Reading Show less
Culture