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7 Must-Reads for Equal Pay Day

Posted on April 10, 2018
Equal Pay Day

Image by Mona Chalabi

Today is Equal Pay Day, a day we "celebrate" to mark how far into the year the average American woman would have to work in order to earn what the average man in the U.S. earned in 2017.

It's important to remember that although today is Equal Pay Day for the average American woman, the wage gap is even greater for women of color. Black Women's Equal Pay Day isn't until August 7, while Native American women won't catch up until September 27 and Latinas, making just 54 cents to the average white man's dollar, must wait until November 1.

In recognition of Equal Pay Day, we at Vision 2020 have hand-selected some of our favorite recent reads on the subject of pay inequity and economic security for women. Scroll down to read through our picks!


Why #EqualPayDay matters, and what it says about women at workAt its current pace of change, women will have to wait 100 years to earn the same pay as men, according to the American Association of University Women. To reach pay parity, women will have to wait until 2119, and if you are a woman of color, that gap is even wider.

The 10-year baby window that is the key to the women's pay gapWhile the typical husband still earns more than his wife, spouses have increasingly similar incomes. But that changes once their first child arrives. Immediately after the first birth, the pay gap between spouses doubles, entirely driven by a drop in the mother's pay. Men's wages keep rising. But a recent study reveals a twist. When women have their first child between age 25 and 35, their pay never recovers, relative to that of their husbands. Yet women who have their first baby either before 25 or after 35, before their careers get started or once they're established, eventually close the pay gap with their husbands. The years between 25 to 35 happen to be both the prime career-building years and the years when most women have children.

Women need an extra academic degree to achieve equal pay with menGeorgetown University's Center on Education and the Workforce published a new set of "rules" for working women seeking equal pay, and rule No. 1 is somewhat of a stunner: Get one more degree than a male counterpart to achieve his same earnings. A whole additional degree.

How to make the wage gap an injustice of the pastLawmakers, employers and workers all have a role in the fight for fair pay. And there are tangible, practical solutions all can take to achieve pay equity. 

The gender pay gap is costing you $1 million (yeah, you!)According to the Institute for Women's Policy Research, the income women are losing as a result of the gender wage gap really adds up. It might just be a few thousand dollars when they first start working, but by 37, women have already missed out on close to $200,000.

Is there a Trans Women's Equal Pay Day? They face discrimination at every level of employmentGiven that women historically earn less than their male counterparts, it's no stretch to conclude this is likely even more true for trans women, as well. In fact, as the Center for American Progress noted back in 2012, one study showed that trans women's earnings dropped by almost one-third while undergoing their transitions.

Sallie Krawcheck: The looming retirement crisis is a women's crisisWomen live longer, on average, than men by several years and retire with two-thirds the money. The means to closing the retirement-savings gap is therefore to get more money to women by closing the gender money gaps.