Today’s Equal Pay Day–the day that marks how far a woman in the U.S. has to work to earn what a man doing the same job had to make by just working last year. As such, the day is observed at different times each year, but the sentiment is always the same: there is a painful injustice in how men and women are compensated for their work.
“Women earn only 81 cents to a man’s dollar in Hawai‘i, and it’s getting wider. This is a reminder that ‘leaning in’ and simply ‘empowering women’ will not fix the gender pay gap. Studies show that the real gender pay gap typically comes when working women begin having children,” said Khara Jabola-Carolus, Executive Director of the Hawaii State Commission on the Status of Women. “We need new policies to hold employers accountable for their rampant practice of tolerating gender pay gaps within their organizations, and for paying women less than men for comparable work. SB2351 is a bill still alive that would begin to correct the gender pay gap in Hawai`i by banning employers from inquiring about women’s past pay. Policies like paid family leave bills HB2598 and SB2990 are also critically important to alleviate the gender pay gap.”
And here’s one more thought, for any man (especially a white man) who’s reading this: tell your non-male colleagues how much money you make. Believe me, it’s the least you can do.
Photo of Khara Jabola-Carolus courtesy Hawaii State Commission on the Status of Women