More

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.

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

True

$200 billion of COVID-19 recovery funding is being used to bail out fossil fuel companies. These mayors are combatting this and instead investing in green jobs and a just recovery.

Learn more on how cities are taking action: c40.org/divest-invest


Canva

I got married and started working in my early 20s, and for more than two decades I always had employer-provided health insurance. When the Affordable Care Act (ACA, aka "Obamacare")was passed, I didn't give it a whole lot of thought. I was glad it helped others, but I just assumed my husband or I would always be employed and wouldn't need it.

Then, last summer, we found ourselves in an unexpected scenario. I was working as a freelance writer with regular contract work and my husband left his job to manage our short-term rentals and do part-time contracting work. We both had incomes, but for the first time, no employer-provided insurance. His previous employer offered COBRA coverage, of course, but it was crazy expensive. It made far more sense to go straight to the ACA Marketplace, since that's what we'd have done once COBRA ran out anyway.

The process of getting our ACA healthcare plan set up was a nightmare, but I'm so very thankful for it.

Let me start by saying I live in a state that is friendly to the ACA and that adopted and implemented the Medicaid expansion. I am also a college-educated and a native English speaker with plenty of adult paperwork experience. But the process of getting set up on my state's marketplace was the most confusing, frustrating experience I've ever had signing up for anything, ever.

Keep Reading Show less
True

$200 billion of COVID-19 recovery funding is being used to bail out fossil fuel companies. These mayors are combatting this and instead investing in green jobs and a just recovery.

Learn more on how cities are taking action: c40.org/divest-invest


The legality of abortion is one of the most polarized debates in America—but it doesn’t have to be.

People have big feelings about abortion, which is understandable. On one hand, you have people who feel that abortion is a fundamental women’s rights issue, that our bodily autonomy is not something you can legislate, and that those who oppose abortion rights are trying to control women through oppressive legislation. On the other, you have folks who believe that a fetus is a human individual first and foremost, that no one has the right to terminate a human life, and that those who support abortion rights are heartless murderers.

Then there are those of us in the messy middle. Those who believe that life begins at conception, that abortion isn’t something we’d choose—and we’d hope others wouldn’t choose—under most circumstances, yet who choose to vote to keep abortion legal.

Keep Reading Show less
via Lorie Shaull / Flickr

The epidemic of violence against Indigenous women in America is one of the country's most disturbing trends. A major reason it persists is because it's rarely discussed outside of the native community.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, murder is the third-leading cause of death among American Indian and Alaska Native women under age 19.

Women who live on some reservations face rates of violence that are as much as ten times higher than the national average.

Keep Reading Show less