Equal Pay Day: Women Still Earn Way Less than Men

A union contract is currently the number one equalizer in closing the 23 percent wage gap between women and men.

April 8 is the annual observance of Equal Pay Day, a date that marks how much extra a woman has to work in 2014 before earning what a man did in 2013.

Full-time female workers make 77 percent of the median earnings of full-time male workers, according to the latest Census data. Thanks to the wage gap, the average woman loses $431,000 over a 40-year career.

The disparity is even greater for African-American and Latina women. African-American women earn 64 cents for every dollar a man earns, while Latinas make 55 cents on the dollar.

The Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank and Tea Party cheerleader, has a solution to the age-old problem: get married.

“If Facebook executive Sheryl Sandberg’s mantra is ‘lean in,’ these women were proposing that women lean back: get married, take care of kids and let men earn the wages,” wrote Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank after attending Heritage’s Women’s History Month gathering.

Click here to read Milbank’s column.

“The reality, the panelists at Heritage said, is that women are less happy than they were before the feminist movement, that women enjoy domestic work, and that most moms would prefer not to work full time, if at all,” wrote Milbank.

President Obama has a different solution. To help enforce equal pay laws, the President will sign executive orders to prohibit federal contractors from retaliating against employees who discuss their compensation and order the Labor Department to require federal contractors to submit pay data by sex and race.  

Click here to learn more about the wage gap and Equal Pay Day.