Equal Pay Day is happening on April 4th this year. The day marks how long into 2017 a woman must work to earn as much as the average man in 2016.
As the flowers bloom and the weather warms, it’s crazy to realize how much of the year has passed. We’re well into 2017; women are only now catching up to what their male counterparts made last year.
But that’s just an average.
Black women won’t see their wages become equal for another two months, and it will be summer and halfway through the year when Latina women earn their fair share.
During my work preparing for Equal Pay Day, I met a young woman named Avery. She’s turning ten at the end of this month, and she had a lot to say about the pay gap.
Avery’s take on equal pay Day
Avery was 6-years-old when her mom signed her up to play basketball. At first, she didn’t want to join the team, but before the first season was through she was hooked. Avery had only male coaches until her mom took over last year. She and her mom began to talk about a potential career in sports, especially coaching. But as Avery looked for role models she saw the discrepancies right away. WNBA players and coaches aren’t paid nearly as much as their NBA counterparts, and there has never been a woman NBA head coach. Never.
Although these facts are upsetting, they don’t seem to be discouraging Avery. In her case, knowledge is power. She refuses to live in a world where jobs aren’t open to women or women aren’t compensated fairly for their work.
Closing the pay gap
It’s my hope that as employers, workers, and companies learn of the pay gap, they take the Avery approach. Virginia women are often the breadwinners for their families. That means when they don’t receive a fair wage, families suffer, and ultimately the Virginia economy suffers.
As we learn about the facts behind the wage gap, let’s all be an Avery. Let us, as women, continue to persist and uplift the women who work with us. As business owners, let us seek to ensure equal compensation for equal work. As a country, let us call for meaningful legislation that Avery can bring to the table to give her a fair shot.
To take action on April 4th (otherwise known as Equal Pay Day 2017), head over to our action page to find a business near you participating in our awareness campaign and sign up to join.