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Salary Transparency

Here's who's fighting for equal pay and how you can join

Posted by Glassdoor Team

Career Advice Experts

Last Updated May 26, 2022
|4 min read

On average, American women earn 82 cents to their white male counterparts’ dollar, but the gender pay gap grows even wider among most women of color: African American women earn 63 cents, Native American women earn 60 cents on the dollar, and Latina American women earn 57 cents. According to the Pew Research Center, those numbers have held relatively steady over the last 15 years. 

Women have been fighting for equal pay for decades, passing the mantle from one generation to the next. In recognition of Equal Pay Day — a date that symbolizes how far into the year women must work to earn what men earned in the previous year — here are a few women leading the charge today for equal pay. 

Rosa DeLauro

U.S. Representative Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut’s Third Congressional District has been fighting for equal pay on Capitol Hill since 1997. Rep. DeLauro has advocated for the passing of legislation that, if enacted, would require that men and women in the same job receive equal pay, as well as:

  • Ban retaliation against workers who discuss their wages
  • Prohibit employers from seeking the salary history of prospective employees. 

The prohibition against requesting salary history could be one of the most significant steps in equalizing pay. Some prospective employers use an applicant’s current salary as a starting point for establishing a job offer, which can prevent the applicant from earning what they’re worth. In more than 20 states and territories, this practice is already illegal,  revealing support across the ideological spectrum. 

C. Nicole Mason 

Dr. C. Nicole Mason is the youngest person currently leading one of the major think tanks in Washington, D.C., and one of the few women of color to do so. As President and CEO of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR), Dr. Mason isn’t just fighting to close the wage gap; she’s also leading the charge to help women get benefits like paid leave and health insurance — critical elements for keeping women in the workforce. 

Too often, workers have to choose between their jobs and families when faced with life changes or serious health challenges, with dire consequences for their economic security.

“Paid leave is crucial for American workers and their families,” Mason said. “We learned during the pandemic that paid sick leave was not a ‘nice to have’ but a necessity for the most vulnerable workers and for families. Too often, workers have to choose between their jobs and families when faced with life changes or serious health challenges, with dire consequences for their economic security.”

According to IWPR’s data, at least one in three women workers say they lack a critical benefit like paid leave, health insurance, or job security, and more than 75 percent of women surveyed rated these benefits, in particular, to be “very important” or “important” when considering future jobs.

U.S. Women’s Soccer Players

There’s an assumption in sports that men are paid more than women because men’s sports generate more revenue, yet the U.S. Women’s Soccer team has been more successful and profitable than the U.S. Men’s team for years, and women players earned less. 

For example, U.S. Men’s players are promised a $390,000 bonus for a World Cup victory. When the women’s team won the World Cup in 2015, players received a $75,000 bonus.

In 2016, Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe, Hope Solo, Carli Lloyd, and Becky Sauerbrunn filed a discrimination complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to challenge that inequity, and 28 players later sued U.S. Soccer over the pay policy. 

Their battle drew public outcry because it illustrated how women could quantitatively perform equal to or better than men and still not be compensated fairly.

Though the players didn’t win in court, they reached a $24 million settlement with U.S. Soccer in February 2022, along with a guarantee that female players will receive the same compensation as male players moving forward. 

How to fight for equal pay in your job

Talking about money can be awkward, and many companies frown upon employers discussing their salaries with one another. But, when salaries remain a secret, it’s often hiding the fact that some people aren’t paid fairly.

When applying for a new job, ask for the salary range for the position. Consider it a red flag if the company isn’t willing to disclose that information. Before submitting your own salary requirements during the interview process, research compensation for similar positions.

Curious to see how your salary or an offer measures against industry norms? Post a question on Fishbowl, Glassdoor’s peer-to-peer community, where members can share feedback anonymously.

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Remember: Equal pay for equal work isn’t just a women’s issue. Companies that treat employees fairly have more engagement and less turnover, proving that equitable policies lead to better results across the board.

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Rosa De Lauro -
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