On Equal Pay Day, 15 inspirational quotes about the importance of equal wages

Today is Equal Pay Day, and it’s a little bittersweet. The good news is it’s a day that helps bring awareness to the fact that women are still paid only 79 cents for every dollar a man makes in the United States – over 50 years after the Equal Pay Act of 1963 was enacted. The bad news? Today – April 12 – marks the symbolic point into 2016 that women need to work in order to make what men in the same position made by the end of 2015.  That is assuming both the man and the woman started working on January 1, 2015.

But despite that sad reality, Equal Pay Day is, at its core, a day where we can reach out to our fellow humans and remind them how serious of an issue this still is in 2016. So in honor of Equal Pay Day, here are 15 quotes that continue to inspire us to shatter that very real glass ceiling and get what we so rightly deserve: equality.

1. “The reality is that, if we do nothing, it will take 75 years, or for me to be nearly 100, before women can expect to be paid the same as men for the same work.” – Emma Watson


2. “I am a woman and, like millions of women, I know there are still barriers and biases out there, often unconscious, and I want to build an America that respects and embraces the potential of every last one of us.” – Hillary Clinton

3. “Equal pay for equal work. It’s common sense. It’s also overdue. Let’s close the gap and let’s do it now.” – Joe Biden

4. “We need to stop buying into the myth about gender equality. It isn’t a reality yet. Today, women make up half of the U.S. workforce, but the average working woman earns only 77% of what the average working man makes. But unless women and men both say this is unacceptable, things will not change.” – Beyoncé


5. “I’m over trying to find the ‘adorable’ way to state my opinion and still be likable! Fuck that. I don’t think I’ve ever worked for a man in charge who spent time contemplating what angle he should use to have his voice heard. It’s just heard. Jeremy Renner, Christian Bale and Bradley Cooper all fought and succeeded in negotiating powerful deals for themselves. If anything, I’m sure they were commended for being fierce and tactical, while I was busy worrying about coming across as a brat and not getting my fair share.” – Jennifer Lawrence

6. “Imagine you’re a little girl. You’re growing up. You practice as hard as you can, with girls, with boys. You have a dream. You fight, you work, you sacrifice to get to this stage. You work as hard as anyone you know. And then you get to this stage, and you’re told you’re not the same as a boy. Almost as good, but not quite the same. Think how devastating and demoralizing that could be.” — Venus Williams 

7. “We must carry forward the work of the women who came before us and ensure our daughters have no limits on their dreams, no obstacles to their achievements, and no remaining ceilings to shatter.” – Barack Obama

8. “It’s indisputable that there’s a real pay gap. People can argue about how big, but that’s almost besides the point. The point is that every woman, every girl, deserves to get paid what they’re worth.” – Sheryl Sandberg


9. “I’m sorry, if a woman does the same job as a man, she should be paid the same amount of money. She just should. That’s just the way the world should work. What are you telling your daughter when she grows up? ‘You’ve got to just understand that you’re a girl. You have a vagina, so that’s not as valuable.’ What are you telling her?” – Viola Davis

10. “Every single interviewer asked, ‘Isn’t this an amazing time for women in comedy?’ People really wanted us to be openly grateful — ‘Thank you so much!’ — and we were like, ‘No, it’s a terrible time. If you were to really look at it, the boys are still getting more money for a lot of garbage, while the ladies are hustling and doing amazing work for less.’” – Tina Fey

11. “It can be frustrating. It can be painful. Your salary is a way to quantify what you’re worth. If men are being paid a lot more for doing the same thing, it feels shitty.” – Gwyneth Paltrow


12. “As a father, I want to know my daughter will have the same opportunities as my sons…A Liberal government is committed to working with the provinces and territories to ensure that women receive equal pay for equal work.” – Justin Trudeau

13. “I think every female actress knew [about the pay gap], and they all knew that it was happening, but nobody wanted to say anything because they were just like, ‘OK, you know what, I still got paid; it wasn’t as much, but I still got paid.’ Society was telling them if that if you speak out you’re going to be labeled, like, this feminist crazy person, difficult, difficult to work with — and that, in itself, is very sexist. All these female actresses are literally labeled difficult to work with because, God forbid, they have an opinion.” – Rowan Blanchard

14. “This is not about the women’s team going after the men’s team, or comparing stats and records with them. We love those guys, and they have come out publicly in support of our filing and have offered to help however possible. They have also fought their way to better compensation, and without them fighting for what they have, we would have no general benchmark for what we deserve: equal pay for equal play. It’s a pretty simple concept. But as with so many professions in the United States, it is still not a reality for the female soccer players who represent this country.” – Alex Morgan

15. “You have a girl taking out the same college loan as her male counterpart in her class. But she will take years longer to pay off her student loan. It will take her longer to buy a house. She will have less money in her retirement account and be more likely to be poor when she’s elderly. Her kids will be affected. The issue of pay inequality is really important because experts say it will take 40 years for that gap to close. We don’t have 40 years to wait.” – Patricia Arquette


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