As a “holiday”, this one sucks, and I hope we can stop “celebrating” it really soon. Equal Pay Day was created as a way to bring attention to the wage gap between men and women in the U.S. This date was chosen because, on average, women must work to Tuesday to make the same amount as a man earned the previous week.
If you’re unfamiliar with the issue of wage discrimination, this FAQ is a good place to start. You might also be interested in a recent White House report “Women in America: Indicators of Social and Economic Well-Being“, which provides a snapshot of women’s lives today, along with a view of the trends that have shaped our recent history. Then take a look at the PSC Library resources below for a deeper understanding of gendered issues in the workplace.
The Other Women’s Movement : Workplace Justice and Social Rights in Modern America, by Dorothy Sue Cobble
“Dorothy Sue Cobble’s new book tells the stirring story of women like Esther Peterson, Gloria Johnson, Addie White, and many others who over the last half century led the struggle for workplace respect and fair pay, equal opportunity, and the right to family leave and child care. Advocates for today’s working families will find much inspiration and wisdom in this rich history of America’s working women.”–John J. Sweeney, AFL-CIO
Women and the Economy: A Reader, edited by Ellen Mutari and Deborah M. Figart
“This comprehensive and highly readable text does an excellent job of examining the political economy of gender in the context of both race/ethnicity and class. Bringing together skillfully edited articles from economics and the social sciences, this reader will engage students with feminist economic analysis across a wide range of theoretical positions.” –Paula Rothenberg, William Paterson University
Selling Women Short : Gender Inequality on Wall Street, by Louise Marie RothRoth (sociology, Univ. of Arizona) provides a valuable addition to the literature on the earnings gap between women and men. …Her data show how pay for performance, which should lead to gender-neutral outcomes, often leads to the reverse. The culture and stereotypical beliefs of workaholic white males lead to practices that, intentionally or not, favor those who are most like them or their clients. Eventually most women are found in less lucrative areas of these firms…–Choice Reviews
Elusive Equality : Women’s Rights, Public Policy, and the Law, by Susan Gluck Mezey
“Surveying the public policy issues central to the identification—and protection—of women’s rights, Susan Mezey traces the developing legal parameters of sex equality. From early court rulings that prohibited employment discrimination and sexual harassment through today’s decisions on reproductive rights, Mezey analyzes the broader political context within which critical judicial decisions have been made.”–Lynne Reinner Publisher