Lady Business: Equal Pay for Women

As if I needed another reason to want to yell at Republicans everywhere, this news about the vote to close loopholes in the 1963 Equal Pay Act made me want to hurt somebody:

“This is just politics. This should be called the trial lawyers bonanza bill,” complained Sen. Mike Enzi of Wyoming, the top Republican on the Senate labor committee. “It has nothing to do with the women. They will get very little out of it. What it allows is huge class-action suits with very little defense by any employer.”

Even the retiring moderate Republican senator from Maine, Olympia Snowe, whose support Democrats hoped to win, called the Democrats’ bill “regrettable” and an “overreach.” “I think there are other ways (of) addressing these issues, and this legislation goes too far,” Snow said. The bill “would put a tremendous burden on employers through lawsuits, class-action lawsuits.”

I don’t know about you, but I really love it when men say that women will get very little out of things that we’ve been fighting for. Those silly ladies, they don’t really know what they need! Eighty-one cents on the dollar, how bad could it really be? But that’s one of the reasons I loathe politics. It’s a lot of posturing by people who make enough money that they don’t have to worry about making equal pay for equal work. 

So, what are the rest of us supposed to do?

Narrow the Gapp, which was created by Gina Trapani, is a great resource for salary negotiation techniques and general information about the pay gap in most industries. I highly recommend the site. suggests that at the current pace, “it will take until 2056 for women and men’s earnings to reach pay parity.” I was hoping I could retire by then, but oops, guess not! 

If you’re more of a visual person, FlowingData has a good chart showing the discrepancy between men and women’s salaries. The New York Times also wrote about how the pay gap between men and women only widens as women get older. 

I don’t know about y’all, but I’m feeling really jazzed up for the work week now.

Previously: Who Taught You About Work?, Poppin’ Pink Collars and Devaluing Women’s Work

Joshunda Sanders, a Black woman with short black hair, smiles brightly at the camera
by Joshunda Sanders
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Joshunda Sanders is the author of I Can Write the World, How Racism and Sexism Killed Traditional Media: Why the Future of Journalism Depends on Women and People of Color, and The Beautiful Darkness: A Handbook for Orphans. She lives in the Bronx, New York, and sometimes tweets @JoshundaSanders.

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1 Comment Has Been Posted

Timely - Saw this on the news - Even women doctors are paid less! So much for the republican line about how it is because women just choose lower paying work! Still, I am sure they will try explain it away again...

at some point one would think we would revolt but we are too busy working harder to get paid less. (written after a 10 hour day at work... maybe I will get a paycheck equal to a man!)

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