Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Wage Gap Continues to Affect Women

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Wage Gap Continues to Affect Women

Article excerpt

It's been over five decades since President John F. Kennedy officially acknowledged the gender wage gap by signing into law the Equal Pay Act of 1963 aimed at abolishing wage disparities between men and women.

Yet today women are still struggling to keep up with their male colleagues in the work force - and still falling short.

In 1963, women earned 59 percent of the wages men earned for the same jobs.

Today, women earn 80 cents for every dollar earned by men, according to the National Partnership for Women and Families.

So while women have made wage-gap gains - increasing at a little less than a half-cent per year - they still lag behind their male colleagues.

And that's a problem in many ways.

If you examine just the amount of money women will lose each year due to the wage gap, you'll be astonished. Take all those full-time working women, add their salaries together, and you'll find they lose a combined total of more than $840 billion every year due to gender-based wage disparities.

Or, looking at it another way, over a woman's working life, she will earn $1 million less than a man.

That's certainly a concern for individual women. It's a concern as women attempt to get by in an increasingly expensive world and it becomes even more pressing as women retire only to realize they've been unable to save enough.

It becomes even more of a concern when you realize that there are nearly 10 million single-parent households headed by women, according to 2015 census figures.

What about the contributions of higher-paid fathers? Only one out of every three single moms received child support from their children's dads.

That translates to a huge proportion of female-headed families considered low-income. The percentage of female-headed, low-income households is even higher in the African-American community.

A recent report from Florida Kids Count showed that children of single black mothers make up the largest proportion of all poor children living with single mothers. In Duval County, 7 of 10 single mothers living in poverty are African-Americans.

So now in addition to the women harmed by the wage gap, children are victims as well.

And this wage gap persists despite conditions.

EXPLANATIONS FALL SHORT

Across all industries - from health care to retail - women are paid less than men.

The wage gap exists regardless of education levels. Women in academia earn less than their male colleagues as do women in factories.

Similarly, experience doesn't affect the wage gap.

And factors such as race, geographic location and unionization don't erase wage differences between men and women. …

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