Women continue to be better represented in the workforce, particularly in supervisory positions, yet those women are not receiving the same wages as their male colleagues. On average, women earn 22-29% less than men. In taking a closer look, the data also shows that U.S. female managers make up to 42% less in wages, on average, than their male peers.

08/27/16 - Apple, Facebook, Ikea, Microsoft and General Motors, the first U.S. automaker to have a female chief executive officer, are among more than two dozen companies that added their names to a White House pledge to study gender pay gaps among their employees. By signing the equal pay pledge the employers are:

  • Acknowledging the critical role businesses must play in reducing the national pay gap.
  • Committing to conducting an annual company-wide gender pay analysis across occupations.
  • Reviewing hiring and promotion processes and procedures to reduce unconscious bias and structural barriers.
  • Embedding equal pay efforts into broader enterprise-wide equity initiatives.
  • Pledging to take these steps as well as identify and promote other best practices that will close the national wage gap to ensure fundamental fairness for all workers.

Find all companies that have signed the pledge on Whitehouse.gov
And business leaders, sign up for the equal pay pledge!

02/18/2016 - Most employers don't believe that merit pay drives a higher performance, but not to worry, the presence of women does the trick. Only 20% of the employers of 150 large and midsized companies found performance related pay an effective way to boost individual performances, according to CFO.com reporting on a survey conducted end 2015 in North America. There might be a solution, suggests another study on the profitability of gender diversity: more women on corporate boards may improve firm performance. Men hold over 80 percent of all S&P 500 board seats according to Bloomberg, while the gender diversity study explains that a move from no female leaders to a 30% representation is associated with a 15% boost to profitability. So it's simple: close the gender gap.

01/29/16 - The Obama administration announced plans to start collecting data on the earnings of women and minorities at large U.S. companies in order to address pay discrimination.

Under the proposal The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's (EEOC) would require employers with 100 or more employees to provide the agency with detailed wage information, broken down by gender, race and ethnicity. Unlike a similar Labor Department rule proposed earlier, it would apply to all large businesses and not just federal contractors.

The plan, which is expected to take effect in September 2017 does not require congressional approval. 

The White House announced the proposal on a day it was celebrating the seventh anniversary of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.

The median wage of a woman working full-time year-round in the United States is currently about $39,600, only 79 percent of a man’s median earnings of $50,400.

Paycheck Fairness Act

The Paycheck Fairness Act is a proposed US labor law that would add protections to the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and the Fair Labor Standards Act as part of an effort to address the gender pay gap in the United States.

The Paycheck Fairness Act would make critical changes to the law, including:

  • requiring employers to demonstrate that wage differentials are based on factors other than sex;
  • prohibiting retaliation against workers who inquire about their employers’ wage practices or disclose their own wages;
  • permitting reasonable comparisons between employees within clearly defined geographical areas to determine fair wages;
  • strengthening penalties for equal pay violations;
  • directing the Department of Labor to assist employers and collect wage-related data; and
  • authorizing additional training for Equal Employment Opportunity Commission staff to better identify and handle wage disputes.

The bill, which has Democratic support, would help create stronger incentives for employers to pay workers fairly, empower women to negotiate for equal pay and prohibit retaliation against employees who share salary information. 

The House did pass the bill—twice. But it narrowly missed in the Senate.

In 2010 too few senators voted to move forward with the legislation. The Paycheck Fairness Act needed 60 votes to move forward, and captured only 58.

Update: August 2016

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