Women insurance sales agents make 67 cents to the dollar men earn doing the same job.

That's $324 out of a weekly paycheck, which means she gets paid $16,848 less per year. [source]

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Unfair and Illegal

Nearly 50 years after President Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act, on average women are still paid less than their male counterparts for doing comparable jobs in the U.S. — that's called the pay gap. It means that each time the average woman starts a new job, she's likely to start from a lower base salary than her male counterparts.

Just as interest compounds, so does the pay gap. As a woman moves from job to job during her career, the pay gap between her and her male colleagues is likely to become wider and wider.

Personal financial advisors and legal occupations suffer the largest gender pay gaps. Personal and home care aides and special education teachers have the smallest pay gaps.

Unequal pay isn't just unfair, it's illegal. But unless men and women who have the same job discuss what they're getting paid, unequal pay can go unaddressed indefinitely. At the current pace, it will take until 2056 for women and men’s earnings to reach pay parity. Let's make it happen sooner.

Women make up nearly half of the labor force and mothers are the primary or co-breadwinners in the majority of families. When women aren't paid fairly, families suffer and the American economy suffers.

Narrow the Gap

Insist on equal pay for equal work in your and your loved ones' workplaces. Here's what you can do.

  • Get educated about Equal Pay and Compensation Discrimination.
  • Raise awareness about the pay gap. To start, tweet, like, share, +1, and blog a page from this site.
  • Talk to employees and employers you know about the pay gap, salary negotiation techniques, and equal pay laws.
  • Change the numbers by citing the numbers. Boatloads of data just like this is freely available from the U.S. Department of Labor and beyond.

Learn More

To find out more about the gender pay gap, check out some of the following resources:

The American Association of University Women's The Simple Truth about the Gender Pay Gap (PDF, 25 pages)

Catalyst.org's research report The Myth of the Ideal Worker: Does Doing All The Right Things Really Get Women Ahead? (PDF, 21 pages)

Sheryl Sandberg's TEDWomen Talk, Why we have too few women leaders (Video, 15 minutes)

Women Don't Ask: The High Cost of Avoiding Negotiation--and Positive Strategies for Change by Linda Babcock and Sara Laschever (Book, 272 pages)

Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis' advice to women: "Know your worth."

Hiring manager at a multinational tech company: "I regularly hire women for 65% to 75% of what men make. I am sick of it. Here is why it happens and how you can avoid it."

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Gina Trapani