It has been 60 years since the Equal Pay Act was signed by President Kennedy, which aimed to ensure that employees received equal pay for equal work. Despite good intentions, wage gaps still exist today.
According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC), for every $1.00 a man earns,
- Women earn $0.84
- African American women earn $0.67
- Hispanic women earn $0.57
For every $1.00 a working father earns, working mothers earn $0.74 According to the EEOC, because of this pay inequity, women are losing over $400,000 throughout their careers. Women are still disproportionately holding low-paying jobs; in addition, many women take unpaid time off to care for their families. This issue was exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, with over 4 million women leaving the workforce entirely to care for their loved ones in 2020 alone.
The fact that women are often the primary caregivers for children and elders, coupled with the lack of paid time off for caregivers often results in accepting women being forced to accept lower-wage work when they reenter the workforce, including part-time roles with limited opportunities for upward mobility. With less earning potential, women of color in particular miss out on key opportunities to build economic security for themselves and their families.
Fortunately, there has been some momentum to create policies that can help reduce the wage gap. Policies like pay transparency laws and salary history bans aim to reduce the wage gap by forcing organizations to offer a pay range regardless of applicant earning history. Why is this so important? Because if you tell a potential employer your salary history, they are likely to use this information in determining your employment offer. If men historically make more than women, they are going to continue receiving higher offers than their female counterparts who are reporting lower wages.
Vitality promotes inclusive hiring practices by focusing on applicant skill sets, work history, and aspirations for their next role. Vitality does not use salary history, race, gender, family status, or any other protected information when extending employment offers.