Our Opinion: The stark reality of gender wage gap
The gender pay gap has long been a reality in the state and nation. A new tool offered by the state treasurer's office enables residents to see that gap on an individual basis.
The website www.equalpayma.com provides a calculator to detail the wage gap for a specific worker based on age and occupation. The sobering numbers on lifetime wages lost to the gap can also be determined. To offer a little hope, the site enables a visitor to send an anonymous email to their employer asking that action be taken to close the wage gap.
State Treasurer Deborah Goldberg announced the new service on Equal Pay Day or April 12, which represents the point on the calendar to which women must work to earn what men earned in the previous year, according to the National Committee on Pay Equity. Men make $4 an hour more than women on average, and the website reports that a woman will on average lose approximately half a million dollars in wages over her lifetime to the gap — or chasm.
Rationalizations are routinely offered for the gap, such as the presumption that women lose seniority by taking time off to raise families, or accept low-wage jobs in exchange for flexible hours, but even if accurate this is all beside the point. The issue is simply equal pay for equal work, and the treasurer's office calculator usefully shows where the gaps are located and offers an opportunity to press for their closure.