When President Obama signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act on January 29, 2009, he stated that he wanted to send the clear message that “making our economy work means making sure it works for everyone.” At the time, these words may not have stood out as overly significant. But seven years later, as we approach the last Ledbetter anniversary of the Obama presidency, these words have proven to be a defining theme of the administration’s work on equal pay, work that has fundamentally changed the landscape and is critical to future progress.
By connecting economic growth to the full use of our nation’s talent, the president made clear that both women and men are critical to our economic security, long-term productivity and competitiveness, and overall prosperity. In fact, research conducted by the Center for American Progress has found that without women’s participation in the workforce over the last four decades, our nation’s GDP would have been lower and inequality would have been substantially higher.
The above excerpt was originally published in The Hill.
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