IBJNews

Equal Pay Day highlights persistent wage disparity

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

For most working stiffs, Tuesday came and went just like any other weekday.

But it also had some significance of its own. Known as Equal Pay Day, April 12 marked the date in 2011 when women's pay caught up to what men made the previous year.

“It’s a really good way for people to visualize the discrepancy” between men's and women's wages, said Jennifer Pope-Baker, director of the Women’s Fund of Central Indiana. 

The Washington, D.C.-based National Committee on Pay Equity organized the annual recognition day in 1996 to draw attention to the gap, which the group says has been closing at a rate of less than a half-cent a year since the federal Equal Pay Act passed in 1963. At that time, women made 58.9 cents for every dollar paid to men.

The most recent statistics available show women nationally earn an average of 80 cents to every dollar men make. In Indiana, women working full time are paid an average of $31,762 per year while men earn an average of $43,631 annually, U.S. Census Bureau statistics show.

Advocates are making progress, however. A bill known as the Paycheck Fairness Act has been reintroduced in both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives after stalling in the Senate last year.

Supporters say the legislation would provide a needed update to the 1963 law by requiring employers to demonstrate that wage differences between men and women performing the same work stem from factors other than gender. It also would provide workers with the means they need to ensure equal compensation, including fair remedies, additional enforcement tools and technical assistance and training for both employers and employees.

Critics deny gender is a factor in the pay disparity, saying the difference typically has more to do with the jobs workers perform. And opponents of the legislation have said the bill would result in more lawsuits, which would be expensive for businesses to fight.

Despite the push for equal pay, many local women don't know about the 5-year-old awareness day.

Count successful Indianapolis criminal defense lawyer Linda Pence among them.

Though she admittedly earns a better salary than many of her male counterparts, her rise to the top of the legal profession was hardly an easy climb.

“I had to fight and claw my way to the top,” she said.

Pence recalled her days as a young law clerk in 1972, when she earned $95 a week, only to discover that her male colleagues were earning $100 a week. Though the disparity was just $5, Pence raised the issue with her boss and was awarded the difference.

“If you have good employees and you pay them in a disparate fashion, you’ll lose their loyalty,” she said.

Myra Borshoff also was unaware of Equal Pay Day. Yet, the owner of Borshoff, the city’s largest public relations firm, supports the campaign.

Her company has 49 employees, 35 of whom are women.

Borshoff thinks instances of pay disparity occur more often at the management level than in lower-level positions.

“As you move up the ladder, those lines tend to get fuzzier and fuzzier,” she said.

Borshoff said she never experienced pay discrimination during her career and thinks women are making progress.

“Not that there isn't more work to be done,” she said, “but I believe, for the most part, we’re making progress.”

 

ADVERTISEMENT

  • What facts?
    To FishersMom: If you are highly educated like you say, you would have used the word "don't" instead of "doesn't" in your third sentence. These "facts" are inconclusive. Like Toby12 stated, the old adage "comparing apples and oranges" fits well here. BTW, I am a female who doesn't make much money.
  • Vague Stats
    Until there is an equal number of male and female teachers, nurses, business owners, etc then stats can be made to say anything.

    I cheer for women who stand up for the rights that they should already have, but these equal pay stats are vague and misinterpreted.

    Those who stand up for equal rights, I support...they are oout to make the world a better place for every person.

    Feminists on the other hand are women who are just plain bitter that they are not men.

  • Study Labeled "Flawed"
    There are two sides to most stories. The study that Don the 14%er refers to has been labeled as "flawed" by other researchers. Read their thoughts at http://www.womensenews.org/story/women-in-science/110218/flawed-study-dismissing-job-bias-thrills-media . Are you open-minded enough to read it and consider its points or do you tend to automatically rule out new knowledge in favor of your unexamined ideologies (a tendency all too prevalent today)?
  • feminists again
    Read the Wall Street Journal article (link is below) that Don sent with his reply. Also, read the response from MaleMatters. A very good point is presented. The feminist groups need to find something else to do than to complain about wages. BTW: Can you imagine the improvement in the unemployment rate AND the benefit to society if more women would raise their own children instead of going to work each day? Both would improve. Just a thought from someone who has lived through both the old system and the current one.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704415104576250672504707048.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

  • Apples and Oranges
    I believe that there continues to be job disparity between men and women, but the data above is really inconclusive.

    I would offer that in order to make a more fair comparison, that the following factors be included in any assessment:

    ----Job Titles (but verification needed across companies and industries, as responsibilities vary across both, and major corporations tend to pay more than start-ups, etc.)
    ----Starting Salaries at the time of hire.
    ----Years on the job, as longer tenured employees tend to make more money than shorter tenured employees.
    ----Other variances also need to be factored in, including breaks in employment, e.g. in our culture, many women can/could? take more frequent and longer breaks in employment due to child rearing. I'm not saying this does occur, but the data should be assessed in making any further comparisons.
    ----Assessing education pool availability of women vs men in any job category.
    ----I am sure there are other factors as well, but coming to conclusions before these and other factors are considered doesn't paint the full story in either measuring progress or in identifying areas of true discrimination.

    Hope this helps.
  • Really?
    Note that the two people responding negatively to the story are men--not surprising. Yes, some women do choose to be stay-at-home moms but many others want the same opportunities as men in the workplace. The old arguments about women choosing careers that are traditionally lower paid doesn't hold water anymore. We are highly educated and have the skills to make a difference in the world if we are given the same opportunities for advancement.
  • Why women's pay is "unequal"
    No legislation yet has closed the gender wage gap â?? not the 1963 Equal Pay for Equal Work Act, not Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, not the 1978 Pregnancy Discrimination Act, not the 1991 amendments to Title VII, not affirmative action, not diversity, not the Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, not the countless state and local laws and regulations, not the horde of overseers at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission..... Nor would the Paycheck Fairness Act work.

    That's because pay-equity advocates, at no small financial cost to taxpayers and the economy, continue to overlook the effects of this female AND male behavior:

    Despite the 40-year-old demand for women's equal pay, millions of wives still choose to have no pay at all. In fact, according to Dr. Scott Haltzman, author of "The Secrets of Happily Married Women," stay-at-home wives, including the childless who represent an estimated 10 percent, constitute a growing niche. "In the past few years,â?? he says in a CNN August 2008 report at http://tinyurl.com/6reowj, â??many women who are well educated and trained for career tracks have decided instead to stay at home.â?? (â??Census Bureau data show that 5.6 million mothers stayed home with their children in 2005, about 1.2 million more than did so a decade earlier....â?? at http://tinyurl.com/qqkaka. If more women are staying at home, perhaps it's because feminists and the media have told women for years that female workers are paid less than men in the same jobs â?? so why bother working if they're going to be penalized and humiliated for being a woman.)

    As full-time mothers or homemakers, stay-at-home wives earn zero. How can they afford to do this while in many cases living in luxury? Because they're supported by their husband.

    Both feminists and the media miss â?? or ignore â?? what this obviously implies: If millions of wives are able to accept no wages and live as well as their husbands, millions of other wives are able to accept low wages, refuse overtime and promotions, take more unpaid days off, avoid uncomfortable wage-bargaining (http://tinyurl.com/45ecy7p) â?? all of which lower women's average pay. They are able to do this because they are supported by a husband who must earn more than if he'd chosen never to marry. (Still, even many men who shun marriage, unlike women, feel their self worth is tied to their net worth.) This is how MEN help create the wage gap. If the roles were reversed so that men raised the children and women raised the income, men would average lower pay than women.

    See â??A Response to the Ledbetter Fair Pay Actâ?? at http://tinyurl.com/pvbrcu

    By the way, the next Equal Occupational Fatality Day is in 2020. The year 2020 is how far into the future women will have to work to experience the same number of work-related deaths that men experienced in 2009 alone.
    See http://blog.american.com/?p=30031
  • Pay gap is a myth
    The gender pay gap is not due to discrimination! See http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704415104576250672504707048.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. Uh, sorry Johnnie, but you are incorrect. Despite the assertions by yourself and various defenders and captains, sports attendance is NOT off significantly at most sporting events in the US. Variances in attendance has been in the range of single digits, both + & - for years now. MLB has had most of its best overall attendance nubers in the last decade, and that trend has been consistent for most major sporting events. The number one issue cited by most fans when asked about attendance is the overall cost of attending. The presence of HD and big screen televisions in home doesn't even register, as a factor for not attending an event. VALUE in the product is the key, and apparently is something lacking in the current ICS. What other explanation is there when with what is routinely touted as the "best" racing on the planet, fans are staying away in DROVES. A "close" title battle into the last event at Fontana, with the "cars and stars" of the ICS, and who showed up? MAYBE 8K. Sorry, but HD TV isn't to blame for that kind of fan apathy.

  2. Do you need finance to establish your business ? Are you interested in getting a loan at 3% from our private company? If so please Email: suntrust_oil@blumail.org

  3. If she was worth the $ the public outcry over direct tv dropping them would have kept them on their dishes as we have seen with other companies. I too quit watching channel 13 after she showed up since I left channel 8 because of her all show rather than production results. When Randy on 8 corrected her she had a big head and incorrectly challenged his correction for pronunciation of a city. Other antics while she matures was too much for me with her very inaccurate forecasts. All the forecasters were predicting rain until Thursday except Chris. They predicted sunny on Thursday but instead of rain until Thursday upon which the sun would finally make it out in full glory Chris was right on the money just as I too predicted looking at the radar on weather.gov. One thing I love about Angela is the fear you can see in her every time it thunders in the winter. It far exceeds the entertainment value of her body language (high heel noise drags, depression, etc) when her forecasts are so incorrect. Her hair stands on end, you have to see it!!!

  4. Good Day, Apply For A Loan I am Mr Fernadez Antonio, a private Loan lender and a cooperate financial for real estate and any kinds of business financing. I also offer Loans to individuals, Firms and cooperate bodies at 3% interest rate We offer any kind of loans. email us via fernadezloaninvest@outlook.com LOAN APPLICATION FORM First name:......................... Middle name:......................... Last name:........................................ Date of birth (yyyy-mm-dd):....................... Gender:........................................... Marital status:................................... Total Amount Needed............................... Loan Duration.................................... Address:.......................................... City:............................................. State/province:................................... Zip/postal code:.................................. Country:.......................................... Phone:............................................ Fax:.............................................. Mobile/cellular:.................................. Monthly Income.................................... Occupation:....................................... Best Regard, Mr Fernadez Antonio.

  5. i will love to share my testimony to you all the people in world i got married to my husband about 2 year ago we start having problems at home like we stop sleeping on the same bed,fighting about little things he always comes home late at night,drinking too much and sleeping with other women out side i have never love any man in my life except him. he is the father of my child and i don't want to loose him because we have worked so hard together to become what we are and have today .few month ago he now decided to live me and the kid,being a single mother can be hard sometimes and so i have nobody to turn to and i was heart broken.i called my mom and explain every thing to her,my mother told me about DR.okoro how he helped her solve the problem between her and my dad i was surprise about it because they have been without each other for three and a half years and it was like a miracle how they came back to each other. i was directed to DR. okoro on his email:okorospell@gmail.com and explain everything to him,so he promise me not to worry that he will cast a spell and make things come back to how we where so much in love again and that it was another female spirit that was controlling my husband he told me that my problem will be solved within two days if i believe i said OK So he cast a spell for me and after two days my love came back asking me to forgive him i Am so happy now. so that why i decided to share my experience with every body that have such problem contact Dr okoro the great spell caster on his email addresses spellcasterforlove@outlook.com

ADVERTISEMENT