Don't Just Get Mad at the Pay Gap—Get Ahead of It
Mind the (wage) gap: Progress toward wage equality between men and women has been slow-going in recent years, but there have been recent gains, both within companies willing to provide greater transparency and tackle inequality, and in the form of several laws recently passed and soon to be passed. But what can you do; personally; to educate yourself, know your rights, negotiate and advocate for your own fair share? Women's Health Mag has you covered. womenshealthmag.com - We’ve all heard the awful numbers: Pew research pegs the pay gap at 84 cents to a man’s dollar; a White House report has it even wider, with women at 78 cents. And apparently, it will be 118 years—nope, not an exaggeration—before men and women earn equivalent salaries for the same work, the World Economic Forum estimates. We say: not acceptable.
A growing number of companies agree and are already implementing change. Gap made its figures public in 2014; shareholders of Wal-Mart pushed for greater salary transparency last year. And global consulting firm Accenture now identifies pay discrepancies, guides women through all stages of their careers, and has pledged to grow the percentage of females it hires to at least 40 percent by 2017.
Legal reform is on the rise too: California’s Fair Pay Act, which went into effect in January, puts the burden on public and private companies to prove they haven't discriminated against women. If two people do comparable work, companies will be expected to pay them the same. “The law makes it clear that you have to look at the substance of what people do, not just their titles of positions,” says Jennifer Reisch, legal director ofEqual Rights Advocates. (The new law has employee’s backs in another way: by ensuring that they can openly discuss salaries with coworkers without fearing for their jobs.) Following California’s lead, New York enacted the Achieve Pay Equality bill last year, says Reisch, and Washington, Colorado, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island to do the same soon.
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