April 12th is Equal Pay Day, and in Pittsburgh there will be a much-needed debate about gender pay equality.
In 2002, the Bayer Center for Nonprofit Management at Pittsburgh’s Robert Morris University (it is they who have scheduled the debate) first set out to discover how much wages varied between male and female executives. Their findings were not great: for every dollar earned by a man, his female counterpart took home 67 cents.
The issues were addressed and things were improving, with each survey (conducted every two years) showing a movement towards equality. Then came the 2008 financial collapse and, since then, figures have stubbornly hovered around the 74 to 75 per cent mark. The latest survey found that women executives were averaging $101,475 per year, 75 per cent of the $135,170 taken home by men.
Analyzing the numbers, it appears that the reason behind the disparity is that although more women held executive positions than men, men tended to be favored by the bigger nonprofits which pay the biggest salaries.
And if you want to know how to conceptualize what this inequality feels like in real terms, there’s one easy way: April 14th is not an arbitrary date in the calendar; it represents just how far women need to work into the following year to earn the same as a man made in the previous twelve months.
Marty Davis is CEO of Legal Solutions Group Florida, specialising in Workers’ Compensation (employer side), corporate law and real estate.
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