Another Reason to Join the Fight for Equal Pay

by Lauren Sandler

April 14 is Equal Pay Day—though it’s no day to celebrate. It marks the date by which the average working woman has earned the same amount her male colleagues did—in the previous year. And it’s a way of representing the figure we all know, that women make about 77 cents on the male dollar.

But what if we think about the gap in another way, in terms of our health and happiness? You already know that time is money: Consider that the average woman has to work up to 2,400 days beyond a man’s 40 years in the workforce to equal his career earnings—more than 6.5 years of extra time on the job. Women earn $150 less per weekly paycheck, $8,000 less each year and $389,000 less over their lifetimes, according to Department of Labor national averages.

And wage discrepancies apply in almost every field: It’s worse if you’re at the bottom of the pay scale or a woman of color, but the issue runs all the way up the ladder. The highest-paid female executives at S&P 500 companies make an average of 18 percent less than their male counterparts, according to a Bloomberg analysis. (While an Institute for Women’s Policy Research report shows that young women in some states are catching up with men—in New York, they’re even pulling ahead—these gains will likely disappear when more of those women have children.)

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