The other day I reread the lovely remembrance book signed by my co-workers when I retired about a year ago. One page was signed by someone who thanked me for teaching her the “art of negotiation” as an intern. I remember fondly, and proudly, how she used those techniques to earn a higher starting salary with us. It got me thinking; how are women fairing these days to earn equal pay to men? Turns out it hasn’t improved.
Did you know there are multiple Women’s Equal Pay Days because the salary disparity for
different groups of women is substantially bigger:
March 14, 2023 was the symbolic day representing all women overall (84% for full-time workers and 77% for all workers)
Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Women’s Equal Pay Day was April 5
LGBTQIA+ Equal Pay Awareness Day is June 15. There isn’t enough data to make calculations, so they just picked one.
Black Women’s Equal Pay Day is July 27
Moms’ Equal Pay Day is August 15
Latina’s Equal Pay Day is October 5
Native Women’s Equal Pay Day is November 30
It’s so sad that the difference between pay for men vs. women hasn’t really moved in the last 15 years. These inequities still occur in every country and in every occupation.
There are some great resources to help people understand their rights under the various laws (this one looked great at ERA). How can we as leaders support those in our network and working for our companies to ensure they receive equal pay? Here are some ideas that I implemented over my career.
Be a supporter of equal pay – while we discussed diversity in our teams, we would also discuss and analyze salaries of various groups during promotions and annual raises to bring equity where inequities may have occurred.
Coach on negotiation skills – Just like the intern program I taught, I would coach people understand their worth from a salary perspective in the marketplace and how to ask for a raise!
Educate – The first step in any action is to become aware. Many people still don’t even know inequities in pay is an issue. Because of that, I would also regularly ask questions to senior human resource professionals in my company about our pay practices and how we ensure we are paying equitably, how we measure success and what we are doing to improve. But now that I know about all of these equal pay days, I’m going to put them in my calendar and put something on social media.
I’m curious to know what else others do to bring awareness and change in this important area?