Women Deserve Equal Pay
The National Urban League Wire
Published: Wed. Dec 31, 1969 at 7:00 pm | Updated: Thu. Apr 12, 2018 at 5:09 pm | Comments:

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In recognition of Equal Pay Day, we asked Wanda Jackson, Senior Vice President for Hunan Resources at the National Urban League, to share her thoughts on pay equity. 

It boggles my mind that in 2018, we have something called “Equal Pay Day.” Women have been in the workplace for many decades as primary breadwinners, but still don’t earn enough to be compensated at the same level as men. 

What’s more, the April 10th date is the general number for all women. When we break it down, African American women don't achieve “equal pay day” until August 7th. Our Latino and Native American sisters are even later in the year.

Research shows the biggest reason is that women lose ground related to raising a family. They are more often the one who take off time to juggle work and home life. Men with families do not lose ground in the same way. Additionally, the data says that women are often found in jobs that traditionally pay lower wages than the roles men have in the workplace.

And anecdotally, I can cite another reason. Women are less likely to negotiate when offered a job. More often than not, they may state the number they will accept if asked, but do not tend to counter offer on salary when a job offer is made. And they really don’t ask many questions about other parts of the total compensation package. Some of those things are not negotiable, but a man will more likely ask about them than a woman.

I am hopeful that the date will move forward for African American women in the future if we continue to graduate from college and enter professional roles in the workplace. However, there also needs to be a balance of shared commitment between genders to raising families and a keen focus in the workplace to ensure equal pay.

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