Women make up nearly half of the workforce in this country. Yet, on average, earn less than their male counterparts. Women working full time earn, on average, 79 cents to every dollar a white man makes. For women of color, the pay gap widens considerably. Black women make 64 cents, American Indian women 59 cents and Hispanic women 54 cents to the white male dollar.
The Equal Pay Act of 1963 made it illegal to pay women less based solely on their gender, with other demonstrable qualifications such as seniority, experience or merit listed as the only reasons to enact differing pay scales.
More recently, the Obama administration issued an executive action that will require companies with 100 employees or more to report pay data broken down by gender. These new equal pay rules go into effect in 2017.
Meantime, at the state level, passing legislation for a higher minimum wage, paid parental leave, protecting pregnant workers and improvement of reproductive rights will bolster how women are valued in the workplace.
Washington Community Action Network for the Stand With Women Campaign