Beyer Statement On Equal Pay Day
Congressman Don Beyer today marked Equal Pay Day, the point in the year when women’s wages finally catch up to what men were paid the previous year, by pointing to the effects of the wage gap, and the steps which Congress could take to address it.
“Women deserve to earn exactly what men make for the same work, and not one cent less,” said Rep. Beyer. “On average women make only $0.79 for every dollar which men are paid, a disparity which remains even when you control for industry and education level. The gap is even worse for African-American and Hispanic women. This problem requires strong leadership in Congress to make equal pay a reality.”
A new report released last week by the Democrats on the Joint Economic Committee, which Rep. Beyer sits on, projected that the wage gap is expected to persist until 2059 at its current rate of decrease. The gap costs women an average of $10,800 a year, which could add up to nearly half a million dollars during a career, according to the report.
“Equal Pay Day fell two days earlier this year than it did in 2015,” added Beyer. “We are making progress, but not nearly fast enough. Empowering women in the workplace isn’t just the right thing to do, it will also lead to increased prosperity for all Americans. With good leadership we can make equal pay a reality and erase the wage gap.”
Congressman Beyer hosted a Women’s Economic Conference in October of 2015 with guest speakers and breakout sessions to help women in the region succeed in the workplace. He cosponsored Rep. Rosa DeLauro’s Paycheck Fairness Act, co-led Rep. Carolyn Maloney’s Gender Diversity in Corporate Leadership Act, and sponsored two bills of his own to promote investment and recognition of women-led businesses.