Gender wage gap still a problem on Equal Pay Day
March 14 may be Equal Pay Day for 2023, but there’s nothing equal when it comes to how much more men earn than women.
The day is significant, because that’s how many months into the year women have to work in order to make what men made during the previous 12 months.
One reason behind the disparity is that women are often forced to take unpaid leave to take care of their children or relatives.
Another obstacle is a lack of affordable child care.
“We don’t have enough quality child care for working families, working parents — what we do have is very expensive, especially for infants”, said Assistant Professor of Women’s Studies at San Diego State University, Jess Whatcott. “Those two things, paid family leave and family care infrastructure would make a huge deal in allowing women not to take as much time off work to provide care.”
The Pew Research Center estimates women earn just 82% of what men make.
But San Diego nonprofit Greater Than Tech is trying to change that.
In addition to introducing young girls to the world of STEM and business, they also teach them something that’s arguably more important — how to advocate for themselves.
“A lot of times, especially women, when we get to corporate spaces, we are the least likely to negotiate our actual pay,” explained Jasmine LeFlore, one of the co-founders of Greater Than Tech. “We’re starting them off at a younger age, so we can be their first interaction where they’re learning how to negotiate their rates and their statement of work, so they feel more comfortable asking for more money.”
Through their training programs, Greater Than Tech hopes to fill more boardrooms with women.
“If we’re not used to seeing this in the workplace, or even growing up with our parents, 9 times out of 10 you need to break that cycle and really make the uncommon common,” said Doctor Brittany Wheeler, who co-founded Greater Than Tech along with LeFlore. “We don’t see it 'cause we’re not used to it, so it’s up to us as girls to say no we can do the same thing as men,” Wheeler continued.
The wage gap between men and women hasn’t improved much in over two decades, and women of color are hit the hardest.
Pay Equity day may have started back in 1996, but depressingly for women, it’s still a thing in 2023.