Beth Nash, Founder of the Carr Center for Reproductive Justice with our Distinguished Leadership Award.
Maria T. Vullo, Partner at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP, with our Distinguished Corporate Citizen Award.
Angelica Valencia with our Community Advocate Award.
Last night, only a week after the Republican National Committee claimed that all Republicans support an equal wage, Senate Republicans unanimously voted to block the Paycheck Fairness Act. The bill, which failed to advance despite achieving a majority of 52 votes in favor, would ban salary secrecy and tighten rules to try to narrow the persisting wage gap between men and women.
This isn’t the first time that the GOP has blocked bills that require equal pay for equal work over the years. They usually claim that the gap isn’t as large as stated and that provisions are already in place to protect women workers. But we know those claims to be untrue: the gender wage gap can’t just be explained away and discrimination against women is likely at least partly to blame.
What’s more, this morning the Census Bureau released new numbers on the earnings of men and women that proves that the GOP’s position on equal pay remains out of touch. In 2013, according to the Census, the average woman who works full time makes 78 cents to every man’s dollar, just a single penny improvement from the 77 cent wage gap in 2012. As the chart below depicts, in 2013 median earnings for men were $50,000 while median earnings for women hovered at just $39,200.
We already know that the claim that the gender wage gap is a myth is a myth itself. The new evidence shows that the problem isn’t getting any better — in fact, for the last decade, there has been little progress on closing the wage gap. The Paycheck Fairness Act is one of many policies that would help address this gap, and more broadly help increase economic opportunity for women and families.
BOTTOM LINE: With their latest vote to block equal pay for equal work, Senate Republicans continue to ignore the facts about the gender pay gap and continue to reject policies that would help women and families succeed. New data from the Census Bureau released today proves that point by showing the wage gap hasn’t budged. If conservatives really supported women, they would stop paying lip service to women on the one hand, and voting against policies to help women and families on the other