• Give a Gift
  • Customer Service
  • Promotions
  • Videos
  • Blogs
  • Win
  • Games

April 21, 2014

This One Sentence Boils Down Exactly How You Feel About Equal Pay

elizabeth warren

Photo Credit: Getty

Special Offer

"I honestly can't believe that we're still arguing over equal pay in 2014."

That's how Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D) started an op-ed she wrote last week on the importance of fighting for equal pay, just weeks after Senate Republicans once again killed the Paycheck Fairness Act. With that one sentence, Warren hit the core frustration felt among women everywhere: "Seriously? It's 2014 and we still haven't gotten this worked out?"

You've heard the banner-line statistic multiple times before: women today earn only 77 cents to every dollar earned by a man, a gap that has closed dramatically but remains open. Earlier this month, Congress failed to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act, a bill that would close loopholes in the Equal Pay Act, a piece of legislation that's more than 50 years old. Senate Republicans argued that there are already sufficient laws in place that protect women against gender-based pay discrimination.

"If a woman believes she has been discriminated against in the workplace – which is both unjust and repulsive – she has every legal recourse in place to remain protected," Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R) wrote in an op-ed on the subject.

Warren argued that the bill is a "common-sense proposal," one that protects women from "discrimination [and] retaliation when they ask how much the guys are getting paid." She added, "Basic protection, basic information – that’s essentially all this bill does." Many companies prohibit employees from asking colleagues questions about their salaries.

It's unsurprising, then, that the pay gap persists. According to Pew, 72 percent of women and 61 percent of men think that the "country needs to continue to make changes to give men and women equality in the workplace." But, the pay gap among young women is narrowing. "Today's young women are starting their working lives at nearly equal pay with men, but there's no guarantee that they will stay this close in the years to come," a recent Pew study found.

One way to keep the gap as close as possible over the years? Get comfortable petitioning for raises. NPR crowd sourced reader responses after asking for tactical advice on getting a raise, wondering about "the in-the-trenches daily experiences of women asking for higher salaries." The results, mostly from women in their 20s and 30s, hit a few thematic notes but one piece of advice seemed to trump all the rest: "Just ask."

Connect with Marie Claire:
daily giveaway
Go to the Beach

Go to the Beach

enter now
You Know You Want More
More From Career and Money Tips
Why You Didn't Get The Job

BuzzFeed's Senior People Manager, Erica Bromberg, shares what makes even the most qualified applicants get passed over.

How To Completely Change Your Career

Fox News's Lea Gabrielle went from a 12-year career in the United States Navy to serving as an correspondent for Fox News. We found out how she did it—and how you can make a career change too.

post a comment

Special Offer
Link Your Marie Claire Account to Facebook

Marie Claire already has an account with this email address. Link your account to use Facebook to sign in to Marie Claire. To insure we protect your account, please fill in your password below.

Forgot Password?

Thanks for Joining

Your information has been saved and an account has been created for you giving you full access to everything marieclaire.com and Hearst Digital Media Network have to offer. To change your username and/or password or complete your profile, click here.

Your accounts are now linked

You now have full access to everything Marie Claire and Hearst Digital Media Network have to offer. To change your settings or profile, click here.