Equal Pay Day is celebrated in April. The symbolic day strives to raise awareness of the gender pay gap that affects women across race and ethnicity. The date for 2018 was April 10 in the United States. This date symbolizes how far into the year women must work to earn what men earned in the previous year, the exact day differs both by year and by country.
Said pay gap starts early with what you choose as your college major. According to a Glassdoor report, majors that tend to lead to higher-paying jobs are dominated by male college students and majors that feed into lower-paying jobs are dominated by women.
The gap shows that women earn just over 80 cents for every man’s dollar, with the gap increasing significantly for women of color. If you break it down by race and ethnicity, the gap is even worse. According to Lean In organization, Black women are paid 38% less and Latinas are paid 46% less than white male colleagues.
Manhattan College students are not exempt. Stefania Kartsounas, Communications major, is a Senior just weeks before graduation.
“I am hopeful but I am also realistic. I am confident I will be making similar money than my male counterparts but I am almost certain I will not be making more” Kartsounas said.
When asked about what women could do to improve their situation and advocate for equal pay in the workplace, her answer was simple.
“Women need to do their research and know their worth. They need to demand what they feel they’re entitled to” Kartsounas said.
But it’s not enough to simply know your worth.
In an exclusive interview with Catt Sandler during Equal Pay Day, the former E! News host gave a similar advice to young women entering the workforce.
“You gotta start high or you’re gonna be playing catch up for your entire career” Sandler said. “Get prepared, know the statistics that are out there, create and define your worth and use that to your advantage early on”
According to an American Association of University Women study, women with the same major as men still graduate to a pay gap. Potential reasons could include gender discrimination itself.
“Experimental evidence confirms that many people continue to hold biases against women in the workplace, especially those who work in traditionally male fields” the study shows.
Another reason could be salary negotiation.
“Men are more likely than women to negotiate their salaries. In part, this difference may reflect women’s awareness that employers are likely to view negotiations by men more favorably than negotiations by women,” the author said.
Gender, race discrimination, failing to negotiate or not, women are still falling behind in the workforce and it doesn’t seem to be changing anytime soon. The World Economic Foru said it would take 217 years for disparities in the pay and employment opportunities of men and women to end.