Back in June, 1963 when President John F. Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act, there was a clear goal: Make it illegal to pay a woman less than a man for doing the same job, under the same conditions, with the same level of experience, requiring the same skill, effort, and responsibility. Despite its good intentions, the law still hasn’t solved the problem—even after 54 years.
Since then, the issue has become muddied in politics. Selecting April 4th as “Equal Pay Day” is meant to represent how many more weeks a woman must work to catch up to what her male counterpart earned in the previous year. Social and traditional media are full of inspirational stories and calls to action, but also stories that take issue with the arithmetic that led us to this day. And that controversy is exactly why the issue of gender pay equality remains an issue more than half a century later, and why today it’s critical for Americans to stop and think about the work that still needs to be done. (more…)