April 2 is Equal Pay Day. The American Association of University Women observes this date to raise awareness of the gender pay gap.
The Equal Pay Act passed in 1963, when women made 59 cents for every dollar earned by men. Today, women earn 80 percent of what men earn. At this rate, the gap will not close until 2057.
Over a working career of 47 years, women’s estimated earnings loss is $700,000 for a high school graduate, $1.2 million for a college graduate and $2 million for a professional school graduate.
Women hold two-thirds of the outstanding student debt in the United States – about $900 billion as of mid-2018. Women have less disposable income to repay their loans and require more time for repayment than do men.
Wage gap consequences extend far beyond a paycheck. A lifetime of lower pay means women have less income for retirement, less income counted in Social Security or pensions, less money to care for their families and their selves. If Colorado women earned the same as comparable men, the poverty rate for working women would be halved.
May Equal Pay Day arrive much sooner than predicted!