#EqualPayNow: Do More Than Wear Red

by Heather Shea Gasser

I always find conversations with people of all genders who generally believe that the work of the feminist movement is over to be “interesting.” They say things like, “wasn’t that a thing in the 70s? Didn’t we solve all the problems then? Of course!” they cheer… “women’s liberation has been won! Women have it great these days! A woman can even run for president! No more need for protests, bra-burning (which is an urban myth anyway), and certainly no more need for angry feminists! What do you all have to still be so upset about?

I’ll tell you. For one, I am upset about pay inequity. It is indeed absurd that this type of inequity still exists.

Today, April 14, 2015 is the day we “celebrate” Equal Pay Day. A symbolic day representing the day that women* must work to make the same amount of money that men made in 2014. At the rate of $0.78 to the $1.00, women must work 15 months to make what men make in 12 months. If you’re counting days, that’s 104 EXTRA of them.


* and when I saw “women” I mean white, able bodied, straight, cisgender women with college degrees – the pay inequity for any other group of women is much more grim. 

I could spend an entire post talking about all of the ways in which pay inequity negatively impacts women and their families. Across the country today, and particularly on college and university campuses, you can find many efforts raise awareness about pay inequity (heck, you might even find a pay equity bake sale on your campus!). Instead of detailing the rationale behind why this is important, I’m going to prompt you to take action.

Many will wear red to symbolize how women are “in the red.” I’d urge you to DO MORE than just change your outfit for the day.

Here are eight ideas. There are many groups and organizations that are working to promote pay equity. Click on the links below to read more and then DO MORE:

  1. Once you’ve educated yourself, educate others: Equal Pay Is Everyone’s Issue
  1. Consider these ideas: AAUW: How to “Celebrate” Equal Pay Day
  1. Celebrate Lilly and Urge Congress to Pass the Paycheck Fairness Act. Send an email to your representative by clicking here.
  1. Share what you make. Find out what others make. Increasing transparency about compensation is one way to raise awareness that there are issues.
  1. If you find out that you’re underpaid when compared to colleagues doing the same job… Negotiate your own salary. Need some tips? Click here.
  1. Send an op-ed to your paper. Need some help writing it? Click here.
  1. Read, retweet, and share this infographic from the Department of Labor
  1. Read about and promote activist movements like #HeforShe and 9to5 and #Ask4More

What are you DOING for Equal Pay Day?




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s