Throughout much of the United States’ history, marginalized classes were either prevented from taking part in certain professions or afforded very limited opportunities in those fields. Unfortunately, we are still dealing with that legacy today in terms of limited opportunities and pay disparities for performing the same work.
This is ridiculous and unacceptable. People should get equal compensation for doing equal work! Even though this idea is basically common sense and in fact required by federal law, we are still far from realizing it in practice. While the actual $.80-to-the-dollar figure may be subject to debate, particularly after you factor in race as well as gender, the unfortunate reality is that women (principally black, Hispanic and Native American women) earn considerably less than their male counterparts. This must change.
There are currently laws preventing employers from retaliating against workers who share their salary information. And there are other laws that compel employers to disclose salary data, however these are makeshift solutions that attempt to address the issue on the back-end. It is time for the federal government to do more to make certain that anyone carrying out the same work in markedly equivalent conditions should receive equal pay. As I promote equal pay for equal work, I will also endeavor to mitigate the racial discrepancies in pay.