Ladies, imagine learning from an anonymous source you were getting paid thousands less than your male counterparts.
This is a TRUE story – the story of a Lily Ledbetter. A working mom who earned her way to the top at an Alabama GoodYear Tire factory to discover she’d missed out on $200k in salary, and even more in social security and retirement benefits.
From that day on, Ledbetter would fight for equal pay for equal work. In January 2009 - a decade after the initial incident – The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Act was signed into law, giving people who experience pay discrimination more time to file a complaint.
Ledbetter’s Story is Our Story
Now imagine, if Ledbetter would have thrown away that note? What message would she send to herself, to her male counterparts?
Today is Equal Pay Day. And on this day I bring up Lebetter’s story because this is the story of women today. Yes, this is YOUR story.
Don’t believe me? Let the statistics speak for themselves.
Women make up half of the workforce and on average full-time working women earn just 77 cents for every dollar earned by men. (WH.gov)
This gap puts women at a career-long disadvantage. In 2011, a 25-old working women working all year earned $5,000 less year than a 25-year-old man. (WH.gov)
In ten years, her cumulative lost wages will reach $34,000. According to US census data, by age 65, the average women will have lost $431,000 over her working lifetime as a result of the earning gap. (WH.gov)
50 percent of households have women breadwinners. When a women earns less money for her household, it impacts her children, her community, and the economy.
“Women’s issues are workers issues. They’re family issues. And the more action we take toward equality, the stronger our workplace, families and economy will be.” Latifa Lyles, Director of the US Department Of Labor Women’s Bureau
Follow Ledbetter’s Lead
Ledbetter wasn’t a celebrity. She didn’t come from money. She was a hard a working American from small town Alabama who refused to accept “that’s just the way it is.”
You too can have impact, but it requires action. Let’s get started.
Know Your Rights
If you don't know what you're legally entitled to as an american worker, how can you fight for equal pay? The answer is simple, you can't. Learn the laws on WH.gov and explore a healthy list of resources proving information on handling rights violations and active legislation.
A recent survey by Levo League, found about 60 percent of respondents don’t negotiate. Levo league says the findings are startling, considering negotiation is critical to closing the pay gap and the overall long-term health of a company.
In response to the survey, Levo League has launched the #Ask4More campaign. Sign up here to get Levo League’s expert negotiation plan and more tips to boost your career. Don’t forget to tell them GenYize sent you.
Let’s Make Sure Future Batgirls Don’t Have to Fight for Equal Pay
This video by the US Department of Labor is funny, but it makes a valid point. Forty years ago Batgirl was fighting for equal pay and today we continue to fight. What can our generation of women do to end the fight?
I believe digital technology and social media has given us a huge advantage. Let’s use these assets to join forces in support of equal pay for equal work.
Are you in? If so, share this article with a friend. Or share the statistics in this story by simply highlighting.
Happy Equal Pay Day!