Coffee Sleeves and Napkins at More than 30 Small Businesses Feature Gender Pay Gap Statistics to Show Importance of Equal Pay and Paid Leave for All
MomsRising and the Main Street Alliance are joining more than 30 small businesses across the country to brew up some change and call out the gender wage gap. On Tuesday, April 10, 2018, Equal Pay Day, small businesses in Colorado, Iowa, Minnesota, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Vermont, Washington state, and Washington, DC will help raise awareness of this critical issue by serving coffee and food with special coffee sleeves and napkins that have statistics on pay inequality.
Equal Pay Day represents how far into the year 2018 women had to work on average to make what white men earned by the end of 2017. Overall, women make just 80 cents for every dollar a white man makes, with moms making just 70 cents for every dollar. The pay gap is widest for Latinas, who make just 54 cents for every white man’s dollar.
“Women make up roughly half of the labor force, but we still face outdated workplace policies that perpetuate unequal pay, particularly for women of color and moms —and 81 percent of all women become moms. These barriers aren’t unbreakable, but we need progressive policies that prevent discrimination and promote equal pay for equal work,” said Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner, CEO and Executive Director of MomsRising. “The benefits of equal pay, both for women and our economy, are far too great to ignore.”
Increasing availability of quality and affordable childcare and passing stronger paid leave laws will help close the gender wage gap in addition to greatly benefitting both fathers and mothers and the health of their children. No one should have to choose between their job and taking care of a loved one, but all too often Americans are forced to lower their hours or take a lower paying job to care for a child, sick family member or aging parent. But for the cost of just one cup of coffee per week, we could establish and fund a national paid family and medical leave program, which would be a huge step in the right direction for closing the gap.
"Women in the U.S. lose a combined total of more than $840 billion every year because of the wage gap. When we close that gap, women and their families will have more purchasing power and upward mobility, and more women could start their own businesses,” said Amanda Ballantyne, National Director of Main Street Alliance.
Equal pay for women would lower poverty rates from by more than half of the current rate and benefit more than 25 million children whose mothers pay would be increased. The U.S. gross domestic product would also increase by an estimated 2.8 percent if women received equal pay. As we mark Equal Pay Day 2018, more businesses need to look at their pay policies and work to pay employees equally no matter what their gender. Our lawmakers must also make equal pay a priority. Equal pay isn’t just a win for women it’s a win for the economy and the country.