The Wage Gap in the United States The Equal Pay Act, passed by the U.S. Congress in 1963, was designed to reduce the wage gap between men and women. The act in essence required employers to pay equal wages to men and women who were performing substantially similar jobs. However, more than fifty years later, women continue to make less money than their male counterparts. According to a report released by the White House in 2013, full-time working women made just 77 cents for every dollar a man made (National Equal Pay Taskforce 2013). Seven years later, the gap had only closed by four cents, with women making 81 cents for every dollar a man makes.
A part of the White House report read, “This significant gap is more than a statistic—it has real-life consequences. When women, who make up nearly half the workforce, bring home less money each day, it means they have less for the everyday needs of their families, and over a lifetime of work, far less savings for retirement.”
As shocking as it is, the gap actually widens when we add race and ethnicity to the picture. For example, African American women make on average 64 cents for every dollar a White male makes. Latina women make 56 cents, or 44 percent less, for every dollar a White man makes. African American and Latino men also make notably less than White men. Asian Americans tend to be the only minority that earns as much as or more than White men.