Paycheck Fairness Supports Women’s Economic Security

The Senate is scheduled to vote on the Paycheck Fairness Act today. The Census Bureau estimates that women make approximately 77 cents for every dollar earned by men, creating a marked difference in economic security between men and women.

The figure above shows the percentage of men and women who live above and WOW’s BEST Index. More information on the methodology can be found in the Living Below the Line Report. While it is discouraging to see the different in economic security between men and women, it is not surprising. The figure below, however, demonstrates the difference in economic security in one occupation. Retail sales is a common vocation for both men and women- in the top five employers of both genders. Looking at the gap in economic security in just one occupation eliminates the influence occupational segregation has on women’s overall economic security. As shown, 54% of men who work as a retail salesperson attain economic security, but only 21% of women do. The gap is apparent even looking at simple wage data, the median weekly wage for full-time retail salesperson in 2011 was $620 for men and $466 for women: giving men 25% more every week.

The Paycheck Fairness Act will give women vital tools against wage discrimination, including the simple, commonsense measure of allowing workers to talk about and compare salaries. Call your senator to support Paycheck Fairness.

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