Women have a lot to be proud of so far in 2018. A record number of female candidates are running for political office. Women in Hollywood have accomplished a number of history-making feats in the film industry. (See: Ava DuVernay, Rachel Morrison, Greta Gerwig.) And for the first time in 20 years, U.S. women won more Olympic medals than U.S. men — even though Team USA sent more male athletes to PyeongChang than it did women.
Yet there’s one important area in which women continue to lag behind, and that’s equal pay. On average, women make 80.5 cents for every dollar paid to men. Because of this, women would have to work “far into the next year to earn what the average man earns the previous year,” reports the Equal Pay Today! Campaign. The symbolic date on which a woman’s salary finally “catches up” to a man’s is known as Equal Pay Day. So, when is Equal Pay Day 2018?
Equal Pay Day 2018 falls on Tuesday, April 10th.
What’s more troubling is that Equal Pay Day only applies to the average woman. The wage gap is even worse for women of color. For example, Black Women’s Equal Pay Day doesn’t happen until August 7th, while Latina Equal Pay Day isn’t until November 1st. That’s right: Latina women would have to work an additional 10 months just to achieve salary parity with their male colleagues.
While the gender wage gap has been closing over the years, the pace has been incredibly slow. At this rate, women won’t have true pay equity until 2059.
And, once again, women of color are forced to wait even longer for wage equality, according to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research. Salary parity for black women won’t come until 2124 — yep, more than 100 years from now — and won’t happen for Latina women until 2233.
Equal Pay Day is an annual event designed to illustrate the perpetuating gender pay gap. If you want to do your part, join in the efforts to help raise awareness of the issue.
One of the easiest (and most important) things you can do is to contact your elected representatives and urge them to support equal pay legislation. It couldn’t be easier with this tool from the American Association of University Women. Simply type in your address and the AAUW will generate a message you can personalize and send to your members of Congress. You can also download these free images and use AAUW’s sample tweets to take action on social media.
With the midterm elections just around the corner, it’s the perfect time to make your voice heard. Register to vote today and tell candidates in your area *exactly* how you feel about the gender wage gap.