This week featured Equal Pay Day, the day in the year which marks the moment when the average full-time working woman stops getting paid in relation to the average full-time working man. Pareto Law reviews the idea that women are basically working for free between now and January 2016.
Figures suggest that the average man earns 14.2% more than a woman doing the same job. That means that two months’ work is essentually free labour from women. The good news if you’re a full-time working woman? Apparently the pay gap is narrowing.
Equal Pay Day was five days earlier in 2014, meaning that women can expect to earn the same as their male counterparts in just 50 years time. That is of course, if salary trends continue at the same rate. Can we really celebrate the fact that inequality is set to stay for the next 50 years?
Can you imagine if women across the country didn’t actually receive a pay check from now until January? There would be a national uproar. Of course, that would never happen. So why do employers continuously seem to undervalue hardworking women? Why does the unequal pay issue still exist in 2015?
It would be easy to jump into an explanation detailing female failings in negotiation. We’ve heard it all before- men tend to negotiate their pay and women don’t because it’s not often not in their nature. But does this really excuse the difference? Women are statistically less likely to suddenly start negotiating, so does this mean that everyone should just accept that most men are supposedly worth more?
For now, Equal Pay Day represents the difference in value between men and women in the work place. It will continue to represent this unless the government and employers work together to bring in new employment laws ensuring that men and women doing the same job not only get paid equally, but progress up the pay scale at the same rate.
Unless this happens another generation of females will arguably be cheated out of hard earned money – without even realising.