Yes, mom is a wonder. She brings forth creation itself, imprinting a lifetime of influence on the hatchlings in her charge. She can do anything—and make it look effortless.
And now, if mom chooses to, she can go to college, earn an advanced degree and join the work force as a movie producer, pilot or politician.
But there is one thing mom can’t do—earn as much as a man for the same work.
Even though equal pay for equal work has been the law since 1963 when women earned 59 cents for every dollar a man earned, over 45 years later, women are still paid less than men—even with similar education, skills and experience.
According to the latest U.S. Census Bureau statistics, the gap between men’s and women’s earnings is right around 77 percent.
Those 23 cents add up: Women and their families are being shortchanged thousands of dollars a year. The average woman loses between $700,000 and $2 million in pay due to gender discrimination in her lifetime.
And according to a recent report, women are now the breadwinners or co-breadwinners in two-thirds of all American families, so a majority of all Americans are affected by this wage gap.
Just as disturbing (according to www.momsrising.org), mothers are offered starting salaries that are $11,000 lower than non-mothers, yet fathers are offered higher starting salaries than non-fathers.
On April 20, the nation observed Equal Pay Day 2010, representing the point when women’s wages finally catch up to men’s wages from the year before. Every April, we’re reminded that women must work nearly 16 months to be on par with what men earn in 12 months. At the rate we’re going, we won’t see pay equity until the year 2057.
One way to speed up the progress is to urge lawmakers to support the Paycheck Fairness Act (S. 182).
Speak out for your mothers, daughters, sisters, friends and colleagues. Urge Congress to close the wage gap and back the Paycheck Fairness Act.