American Association of University Women (AAUW) is a nationwide network of more than 100,000 members and donors, 1,000 branches and 800 college/university institutional partners.
AAUW Capital Branch has a dynamic collection of women who are involved in the community through a variety of support and social activities.
A Symbolic Date
Equal Pay Day denotes how far into the new year women must work to be paid what men were paid the previous year. Started by the National Committee on Pay Equity (NCPE) in 1996, the goal was to raise awareness about the gender wage gap. Since then, other Equal Pay Days have been added to the calendar to denote that mothers and most women of color face a wider-than-average gap and need to work even longer to catch up to men’s earnings.
2021 Equal Pay Days
- Asian American and Pacific Islander Women’s Equal Day is March 9. Asian American and Pacific Islander women are paid 85 cents for every dollar paid to white men.
- All Women’s Equal Pay Day is March 24. Women working full time and year round are paid 82 cents for every dollar paid to a man who works full time and year round.
- Mother’s Equal Pay Day is June 4. Mothers are paid 70 cents for every dollar paid to fathers.
- Black Women’s Equal Pay Day is August 3. Black women are paid 63 cents for every dollar paid to white men.
- Native American Women’s Equal Pay Day is September 8. Native women are paid 60 cents for every dollar paid to white men.
- Latina’s Equal Pay Day is October 21. Latinas are paid 55 cents for every dollar paid to white men.
The Equal Pay Act of 1963 (EPA) is a federal law that prohibits pay discrimination on the basis of sex.
Despite the passage of the this law more than a half a century ago, women still do not take home wages equal to those of their male peers. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is the federal agency charged with enforcing this and other employment discrimination laws. EPA amended the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938.
Get Empowered! AAUW is taking a multipronged approach to battling the gender wage gap. A key component is arming women with the tools and resources they need to do their part.
- Mothers are less likely to work when their children are young than they are when children are older: In 2019, the labor force participation rate of mothers with children under 6 was, at 66.4%, For those whose youngest child was age 6 to 17, the labor force participation rate was 76.8%. Among mothers with children under age 3, the participation rate of married mothers was lower than the rate of mothers with other marital statuses — 62% versus 66%.
- Dads with jobs remain more likely to work full time than working mothers: In 2019, 96% of employed fathers worked full time, compared with 78% of employed mothers. Among employed mothers, those with older children were more likely to work full time than those with younger children: 80% of employed mothers with children ages 6 to 17 worked full time, compared to 75% of mothers with children under age 6. Employed fathers with younger and older children were about equally likely to work full time.
- About 43% of women workers had at least one year with no earnings: This is at least twice the rate of men, according to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research. And the penalties for taking time out of the workforce are high: For women who took just one year off from work, their annual earnings were 39% lower than women who worked all 15 years between 2001 and 2015.
- Child care issues are an impediment to mothers in the workforce: Half of U.S. families report difficulty finding child care, according to a survey by the Center for American Progress. Women reported making job decisions based on child care considerations rather than in the interest of their financial situation or career goals: Slightly more than half of respondents who identified as homemakers said that they would “look for a job” if they had access to more affordable child care. And a third of parents in part-time jobs said they would work more hours if they had more affordable and reliable child care.
- Having children limits parents from advancing in their careers: About one-in-five working parents, including 23% of working moms and 15% of working dads, say they have turned down a promotion because they were balancing work and parenting responsibilities, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of Census Bureau Current Population Survey data. Another study found that 17% say they have been passed over for an important assignment and 16% say they have been passed over for a promotion because they have children. Mothers are more likely than fathers to report each of these experiences.