The Simple Truth About the Gender Pay Gap - American Association of University Women 2016

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THE
SIMPLE
TRUTH
ABOUT THE
G E N D E R
P A Y
G A P
FALL 2016 EDITION
THE
SIMPLE
TRUTH
ABOUT THE
G E N D E R
P A Y
G A P
FALL 2016 EDITION
Table of Contents
Foreword
2
Acknowledgments
3
Introduction
4
What Is the Pay Gap?
6
How Does the Pay Gap Affect
Women of Different Demographics?
10
What Causes the Pay Gap?
17
How Can I Make a Difference?
21
What Should I Do If I Experience
Sex Discrimination at Work?
28
AAUW Resources
29
Bibliography
30
1
Foreword
If you take one simple truth from this guide, I hope it’s this: The pay gap
is real. This guide provides the latest evidence about the pay gap as well as
ideas for what we can do about it.
The American Association of University Women (AAUW) has been a leader
on this issue for more than a century, since our first publication on the topic
in 1894. The good news is that the gap has narrowed considerably in the last
hundred years. The bad news is that the gap is still sizable, it’s even worse
for women of color, and it doesn’t seem likely to go away on its own.
That’s why AAUW works on multiple fronts to shrink the gender pay gap.
Over the last century, our organization has awarded millions of dollars
in fellowships to women pursuing graduate education. We have provided
research and programs to advance women in nontraditional fields such as
computing and engineering. AAUW members and staff have stood in the
room when federal equal pay legislation was signed, from the Equal Pay
Act in 1963 to the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act in 2009. We have advocated
for the comprehensive Paycheck Fairness Act, a long-overdue bill that has
come close to passage twice in the last seven years. And we’ve been proud
to support and witness real progress happening at the state level, where law-
makers are offering creative new approaches to closing the gender pay gap.
Pay equity will continue to be an AAUW priority until women everywhere
earn a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work. This guide is designed to empower
our members and other advocates with the facts and resources they need
to tell the simple truth about the pay gap. It’s real, it’s persistent, and it’s
undermining the economic security of American women and their families.
We hope you will join us in the fight for fair pay in the workplace.
Patricia Fae Ho
AAUW Board Chair
2
Acknowledgments
The Simple Truth about the Gender Pay Gap was written by AAUW Vice President
of Research Catherine Hill in 2011. It was substantially revised by Senior
Researcher Kevin Miller and Research Associate Kathleen Benson in 2016.
Vice President of Government Relations Lisa Maatz and State Policy
Analyst Kate Nielson wrote the section on federal and state policies. Senior
Editor Kathryn Bibler and Senior Designer Allison VanKanegan also con-
tributed to the report.
AAUW thanks our members and supporters for their generous contribu-
tions in making this publication and organization possible.
3

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