(Un)Equal Pay Day
at 3:13pm by Cody Olsen
Today, notes the Labor Department, is Equal Pay Day in the United States, a holiday symbolizing how far into this year the average woman would have to work to make the same amount as her male counterparts did last year. GeekWire highlighted a report from the National Partnership for Women and Families, saying that as of April 2015, women make “just 78 cents for every dollar” that a man does. However, while most will agree workplace pay equality still has a ways to go, not everyone agrees with those numbers put out by the report.
The Pew Research Center, a non-partisan think-tank tracking public opinion, says, its estimate, “which is based on hourly earnings of both full- and part-time workers, finds women earn 84 percent of what men earn.” Pew also notes that women are more likely than men to have career interruptions, a contributing factor in pay inequality.
The 6 percent disparity between their findings is interesting, and starts to make one understand why there can be so much disagreement among Americans regarding what to believe about gender pay inequality: Even the organizations that agree there’s a problem can’t agree on what exactly it is.
Seattle City Council member Jean Godden, a passionate advocate for equal pay in the workforce, said she isn’t less worried about the number disparities between the two studies. “A gap is a gap,” she says. Seattle City Council recently commissioned a study on gender pay inequity, finding that in Seattle proper the typical earning for a woman is 89 cents on the dollar, better than the national average, but the larger metropolitan area didn’t fare as well, coming in around 73 cents on the dollar.