WE Communications Blog: Social Innovation
Today is Equal Pay Day 2016, and if you’re at all familiar with the topic, you’ve probably heard this U.S. Census stat before: “For every dollar men earn, women earn just 79 cents.” Today is a tongue-in-cheek celebration because if we use the 21 percent gap in pay equity, mid-April is the extra time it takes a full-time working woman to match what a man earned the previous year. Hardly a cause for celebration.
Many have tried to unpack the 79 cent figure and understand what makes the gap so stubborn. It’s true that adjusting for occupation, hours worked, experience level and other factors does impact the stats. Still, Equal Pay Day paints a useful, general picture and raises the question: How can socially innovative businesses rally to address the gap?
Gender parity is important to WE Communications: Our founders, Melissa Waggener Zorkin and Pam Edstrom, as well as many members of our strategic and creative leaders, are women who care deeply about equality. As a result we counsel our clients to think progressively, challenge the status quo and be a leader in social responsibility.
But so what? How can businesses help? Here are a few places to start:
The ICRW estimates that the pay gap won’t fully close until 2059. Barring the passage of legislation like the Paycheck Fairness Act, businesses will need to continue to take voluntary stands to move the needle. It’s a complex issue that requires smart partnership across sectors. Will you and your organization be a leader on this Equal Pay Day? You can start by following and participating in the conversation online, tagging #EqualPayDay on your social network of choice.