3 Books About Equal Pay To Help You Better Understand The Scope Of The Issue

By Kerri Jarema

Another Equal Pay Day, another year where women are still grappling with the realities of the wage gap. For those unaware, Equal Pay Day symbolizes the date women must work full time up until to make the same amount that men made working full time the year prior. Today, April 10, 2018, marks the 99 days into the year that women have had to work to make the same amount that men made by the end of 2017. Yeah, it's not hard to see why this is a huge problem. And it's important to note that the wage gap is even larger for women of color — a 2017 report from the Women's Bureau of the U.S. Department of Labor found that Hispanic women earn only 56.3 percent, and Black women only 61.2 percent, of what the average white man makes.

This problem is not new, but it had become increasingly urgent with the Trump administration decision to block the Obama-era rule that required large companies to report what they pay workers, breaking it down by race, ethnicity, and gender — transparency that makes it easier for employees to know whether they are being paid fairly. But one of the most important ways we can all fight for equal pay is by getting educated on the facts. Below are three books that dive into the wage gap, what it means and what we can all do about it.

'Grace and Grit: My Fight for Equal Pay and Fairness at Goodyear and Beyond' by Lilly Ledbetter

Lilly Ledbetter, the woman behind the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, tells her harrowing story of fighting back against discrimination, sexual harassment and unequal pay. Working at the Goodyear tire factory since 1979, she faced daily discrimination and sexual harassment, until she received an anonymous note revealing that she was making thousands less per year than the men in her position. She takes readers through her sex discrimination case that made it all the way to the Supreme Court — and how she became a tireless advocate for change in the process.

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'Getting Even: Why Women Don't Get Paid Like Men — And What to Do About It' by Evelyn Murphy

We know that the gender wage gap still affects the daily life of women throughout the country, at every economic level, from cashier to CEO. In her carefully researched book, published in 2005, Evelyn Murphy, Ph.D., examines just how much women (and their families) lose over a lifetime to the wage gap, knocks down the myth that women "choose" to make less, and documents the widespread discrimination that's holding down women's pay. This is great primer for anyone who is looking for more basic knowledge about the realities of the wage gap and what they can do about it.

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'Own It: The Power of Women at Work' by Sallie Krawcheck

Sallie Krawcheck draws on her experiences in Wall Street and as an entrepreneur to show women how to elevate their careers: from getting the raise, to new takes on networking and mentoring, to navigating career breaks and curveballs, to avoiding the biggest career mistake that most women don't know they are making. Krawcheck also encourages women to play a more significant role in shaping their companies into places they want to work by initiating courageous conversations about true flexibility and diversity in the workplace, including advocating for equal pay and non-traditional career paths.

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