“Celebrate” Equal Pay Day
April 10, Equal Pay Day, is the symbolic day when women’s earnings “catch up” to men’s earnings from the previous year. Making 80 cents to a man’s dollar means women must work three extra months, and the pay gap is worse for women of color. But isn’t Colorado more enlightened? No, Colorado’s average gap is also about 80 cents, and in highly-educated Boulder County, the gap is even wider, according to the most recent Boulder County Trends.
Pay inequality is not just a women’s issue – it’s a family issue. It’s not just about fairness, but about making ends meet. In the US, over 40% of mothers with children under 18 are the primary or sole breadwinners for their family. Unequal payment means less money to feed families, pay off student loans, and save for retirement. Over a career, that adds up to $700,000 dollars for a high school graduate, and well over a $1 million for those with advanced degrees. Equal pay for working mothers would reduce their poverty rate by two-fifths, and improve their children’s chances to become educated, contributing citizens.
The American Association of University Women (AAUW) in Longmont, of which I’m a member, is working to close the pay gap locally by offering free Start Smart salary negotiation workshops for college students about to enter the job market. The next workshop will be April 17, 12:00-2:00 pm, at Front Range Community College. I encourage you to join with AAUW in demanding equal pay now!
Darcy Juday, Public Policy chair
This is an opinion piece that was submitted to the Longmont Observer and does not necessarily represent the opinion of the Longmont Observer. If you have an opinion piece you’d like published, please visit our ‘Submit an Opinion’ page.