Why are Women still getting paid 21% less than Men?

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Businesspeople holding piggybanks.

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The good news is that gender pay gap is shrinking. Women on average were paid 59% of what men were paid in 1964, that number has jumped to 79% in 2014. Women are typically paid 79% of what men are paid on average. If this continues as it is then women won’t earn equal pay until 2059, according to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research. You could be waiting much longer, depending on where you live, your age, race and education level.

Women in New York earn 87% of what men do, women in Louisiana are paid 65% of what men make, according to the National Women’s Law Center. Education is not an antidote.  Its the opposite, women with less than a high school diploma make 80% of what men make while women with an advanced degree get paid 74% of what men make, AAUW reports. At the same time there are actually more women with college graduate degrees than men.

Why does this still continue when The Equal Pay Act of 1963 amended the Fair Labor Standards Act, aimed at abolishing wage disparity based on sex (see Gender pay gap). It was signed into law on June 10, 1963, by John F. Kennedy as part of his New Frontier Program. In passing the bill, Congress stated that sex discrimination:

  • depresses wages and living standards for employees necessary for their health and efficiency;
  • prevents the maximum utilization of the available labor resources;
  • tends to cause labor disputes, thereby burdening, affecting, and obstructing commerce;
  • burdens commerce and the free flow of goods in commerce; and
  • constitutes an unfair method of competition

 

To learn more about the act click here.