Today, a mere five days after we all rushed to the post office to file our tax returns, U.S. women have finally reached the earnings mark that their male counterparts achieved by December 31st of last year. Dubbed "Equal Pay Day," April 20th reminds us that the 60+ million working women in this country are suffering economically because equal pay is still not a reality.
The lone female among the 30 highest paid CEOs in the country, Susan Ivey of Reynolds American, is way down at number 27. But the successes for a relative few women at the top pale in comparison to the outrageous pay inequity that exists for their sisters in the everyday workforce. The National Committee on Pay Equity (NCPE) reminds us that even though the the Equal Pay Act was passed over forty years ago, women working full time, year round, still make only 77 cents for every dollar that a man makes. It's even worse if your skin happens to be black or brown. African-American women get 68 cents and Hispanics only 58 cents. Even the best-case 23 cent gap adds up over a worklife to a very unequal scorecard. Totaling more than half a million dollars for the average woman's career, it can mean the difference between owning a home or renting, sending your kids to college vs. sending them to flip burgers, and a decent retirement vs. penury in old age.
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