April 12 represented the day we “celebrate” when a woman’s earnings catch up to what a white male made in 2015. The average woman working full time in the U.S. has to work 15 months to earn what a male did in just 12. The pay gap is even worse for women of color and mothers.
Women face an average earnings ratio of 77 cents, which means less money for feeding families, paying off student loans and saving for retirement. Without legislative remedies for pay equity, it could be more than 100 years before we achieve equal pay. If Congress won’t act, the states must.
Existing Washington law is weak when it comes to equal pay. We need legislators to listen to their constituents and pass some real solutions that will help real Washington women achieve full economic equality.
Passing a federal law like the Paycheck Fairness Act would help protect everyone in all states. Meanwhile, Washington American Association of University Women members, including myself, continue to urge the Legislature to make improvements to Washington’s equal pay laws. Please join us and tell state representatives to join the countrywide movement and ensure equal pay for every Washingtonian.