Tuesday, April 10, also known as Equal Pay Day, symbolizes how far into the year women must work in order to make as much as men did the previous year. So yep, that essentially means women have to work
much harder than men to make the same amount of money. And no one wants that. However Equal Pay Day is also your chance to protest the wage gap and help close it up once and for all. If you want to participate, there are lots of ways to do so.
There is a substantial pay gap between men and women in the United Staes. According to the Equal Pay Today campaign,
women typically make around 80 cents for every dollar a man makes (as a note, other outlets report this as 79 cents). For women of color, wage gaps are even more significant. The organization reported that, when compared with white, non-Hispanic men's dollar earning, black women make 63 cents. Latina women fare even worse, making around 54 cents for every dollar a white man makes. Equal Pay Day was created by the National Committee on Pay Equity back in 1996 in order to raise public awareness of the pay gap and to encourage advocacy and change around the issue. While the pay gap has slowly shrunken over time, there is clearly still much work that needs to be done. So, if you want to take part in Equal Pay Day advocacy, here's how you can contribute.
Participate In A Petition Delivery
The Equal Pay Today campaign has organized a
petition delivery event in Washington, D.C. on Equal Pay Day. The petition is a seeking a reinstatement of an Obama-era equal pay policy mandating that companies with over 100 employees report how much they pay their employees by race, gender, and ethnicity. The Trump administration eliminated this rule in August 2017.
The campaign has collected thousands of signatures on a petition seeking to re-instate this rule and plans to deliver it to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) beginning at 9 a.m. EST. If you are in Washington, D.C. and wish to join the event, you can find further information on the
event's Facebook page.
Sign The Equal Pay Data Collection Petition
If you are not in D.C., you can still participate in the aforementioned petition initiative by signing the equal pay data collection petition. You can easily
add your name to the petition online via the National Women's Law Center's website.
Join An Equal Pay Day Rally
Around the country, people plan to participate in rallies to advocate for equal pay between men and women. Two particularly
large rallies are planned for Chicago and New York City, both beginning at 12 p.m. in their respective local time zones.
However, if you are not located in one of these places, there is still likely an Equal Pay Day rally near you. You can search for rally events by typing in "Equal Pay Day" plus your city or state in Facebook or Twitter's search bar.
Consider using Equal Pay Day as an advocacy day to call your elected officials and ask them to
pass the Paycheck Fairness Act, a bill that has been introduced in Congress many times, but ultimately failed to secure passage. The bill adds additional protections to several existing laws on workplace standards with the goal of helping to end the gender pay gap. The website USA.gov allows you to easily find contact information for your senators and representatives that you can use when advocating for the Act's passage.
Of course, don't forget to check your state and local legislatures to see if there is any pending legislation related to equal pay — and to contact the appropriate officials to advocate on its behalf.
Set Your Email To "Out of Office"
In the United Kingdom last year, the Women's Equality Party encouraged women to
set their work emails to "out of office" on Equal Pay Day and to compose an out of office message that educated recipients on the gender wage gap. While there is not necessarily an officially organized "out of office" movement in the United States for Equal Pay Day, it could certainly constitute a very impactful way for you to raise awareness about wage inequities.
Participate In The Equal Pay Social Media Storm
The Equal Pay Today campaign is also organizing a
social media storm on April 10. Anyone can participate in the social media blitz, which begins at 2 p.m. EST.
The organization asks that people use the hashtags #equalpayday, #talkpay, and #time4transparency to raise awareness about Equal Pay Day and to create posts advocating for specific equal pay initiatives. These include reinstating the pay data collection rule, passing federal and local fair wage acts, and advocating for employers who have equal pay policies and are transparent about pay.
You can find more information about the
social media storm, including sample graphics and messages, on the organization's website.
While it may sound simple, another way to participate in Equal Pay Day simply consists of talking to others about the issue. Discussing Equal Pay Day with friends and family can help enlighten those who were not aware of the gender wage gap or why it exists. It may even inspire others to join a rally or sign a petition.
Overall, there are certainly many ways you can protest the gender pay gap and help contribute to increasing pay equality on Equal Pay Day. Be sure to continue to monitor social media and other media outlets to look for additional protest opportunities on the day of as well.