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Equal Pay Day: Strategies to level the playing field


Equal Pay Day: Strategies to level the playing field

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Two-thirds of female professionals think their salaries are unfair, according to a survey by Glassdoor that also noted that women at every level of education earn 20% less than their male counterparts for similar jobs. 

The study was released Tuesday on Equal Pay Day, a theme intended to raise awareness of the gender pay gap, marking how far into the year women on average must work to catch up with the what men typically earned the previous year. 

Nationwide, women in 2022 earned an average of 82 cents for each dollar men earned, according to data from the Pew Research Center. That shows only a two-cent improvement over the past two decades: Women in 2002 typically earned 80 cents for every dollar their male counterparts earned.

“Equal pay is about far more than a paycheck,” the White House said in a statement Tuesday. “It is about living up to the fundamental values that define who we are as a nation — equality, dignity, and fairness. Today and every day, we continue working toward the promise of equal pay, recognizing that when women thrive, we all thrive.”

Despite the Biden administration’s focus, the White House is no exception when it comes to disparities in pay between its male and female staff members. The median salary of women White House workers is $84,000, compared with $105,000 for men, according to 19thnews.org, a nonprofit news org focused on gender and politics. 

That said, there have been several attempts to close the wage gap through government policy, each with varying levels of success. An executive order signed by President Biden in 2022 bans federal contractors from considering job applicants’ prior salary history in setting pay. Efforts also continue to advance The Paycheck Fairness Act, which seeks to end wage discrimination on the basis of sex, including pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, and sex characteristics.


Today is Equal Pay Day. Here’s what the gender wage gap looks like in Maryland

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Gender-based pay disparities actually increase for women as they age and are even greater for women of color, according to Glassdoor, which cites Forbes gender pay gap statistics showing that Black and Hispanic women in rural areas earn just 56 cents for every dollar earned by rural white, non-Hispanic male workers.

Surprisingly, obtaining a college degree often does not improve the situation. In fact, women with a college degree face a greater pay gap than those without one. The Pew Research Center found that in 2022 the average salary for women with a bachelor’s degree was 79% that of men with a bachelor’s, while the average salary of women with only a high school degree was 81% of that of men with only a high school degree. For women without a high school diploma, the gap was even smaller, at 83%.

The fields where the most women feel their pay is unfair are accounting (73%), tech (61%) and consulting (58%), according to Glassdoor. That may be due to the fact that traditionally male-dominated fields tend to have the greatest gender pay gaps, according to a 2019 Glassdoor report.

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