This week, President Barack Obama called on the Senate to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act. He opened by acknowledging the transformation in who is the breadwinner for America’s families: “In America today, women make up half of the workforce, and two-thirds of American families with children rely on a woman’s wages as a significant portion of their families’ income.” The upshot: Women’s wages matter because women are breadwinners.
Yet, women today continue to earn only 77 cents for every dollar that men earn. This gap in pay occurs across educational groups and is larger for women of color than for white women. Given how far women have come—and how hard we work—this is simply inexcusable. Especially since much of the pay gap cannot be explained by anything that actually affects on-the-job productivity.
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