Today, April 20th, marks the time it would take the average woman to earn the same as her male counterpart did in the 2009 calendar year. Almost four months to get the same paycheck! Well personally, I find that ridiculous, and so do the ladies of Claim Change. Earlier today, Claim Change and the Women and Girls Foundation gathered to rally in Mellon Square, jingling the spare change in their purses as a symbol of the money women are still missing out on. Whether in Pittsburgh or not, you can still step up to the plate and do your part in support. The Paycheck Fairness Act that was introduced by Senator Hillary Clinton back in January 2009 is currently stalled in the Senate. The act was designed to protect women who muster up the courage to approach their employer about fair wages; forbidding retaliation among other helpful back-up clauses. Take a moment to write your senator, and if you or someone you know is suspicious about wage discrimination, find the Nancy Drew in you and give your bank account some justice!

 Here are some statistics from the ladies of Women Don’t Ask that might inspire you to bring the big guns to the bargaining table:

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 Women Suffer When They Don't Negotiate

    * By not negotiating a first salary, an individual stands to lose more than $500,000 by age 60—and men are more than four times as likely as women to negotiate a first salary.

    * In one study, eight times as many men as women graduating with master's degrees from Carnegie Mellon negotiated their salaries. The men who negotiated were able to increase their starting salaries by an average of 7.4 percent, or about $4,000. In the same study, men's starting salaries were about $4,000 higher than the women's on average, suggesting that the gender gap between men and women might have been closed if more of the women had negotiated their starting salaries.

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    * Another study calculated that women who consistently negotiate their salary increases earn at least $1 million more during their careers than women who don't.

    * In 2001 in the U.S. women held only 2.5 percent of the top jobs at American companies and only 10.9 percent of the board of directors' seats at Fortune 1000 companies.

    * Women own about 40 percent of all businesses in the U.S. but receive only 2.3 percent of the available equity capital needed for growth. Male-owned companies receive the other 97.7. percent.

Equal Pay Day 2010 from Claim Change on Vimeo.

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