We Need to Stop Saying Women Earn 77 Cents to a Man’s Dollar. Here’s Why

We Need to Stop Saying Women Earn 77 Cents to a Man’s Dollar. Here’s Why

The White House is finally doing something about the gender pay gap (as well as pay gaps in general).

President Obama is working to further shrink the pay gap by enforcing a new set of rules that would require businesses to inform the federal government of their employees’ wages, based on the employees’ “gender, race, and ethnicity.”

The White House released The Gender Pay Gap Brief on January 29. The goal of the brief is to give a more in-depth view on how and why the pay gap has become as wide as it is. To do this, President Obama and his counterparts aren’t just looking at the typical statistic of a woman making 79 cents to a man’s dollar. This statistic only compares an able-bodied white woman’s earnings to an able-bodied white man’s earnings, which means it leaves out a massive amount of people in the American workforce.

The rules in the White House’s new brief are considerably more nuanced; they aim to collect data on the differences in pay between white women and women of color, as well as on the pay gap between able-bodied people and people with disabilities.

President Obama released the Gender Pay Gap Brief on the seventh anniversary of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, an act that allows employees to file employee discrimination complaints within almost six months of receiving an unfairly low paycheck. You can watch Obama’s full address, in which he also encourages Congress to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act here.

Cover image courtesy of Shutterstock.