AAUW Action Priority: To achieve economic security for all women
AAUW recently updated its signature report, The Simple Truth About the Gender Pay Gap. In 2020, women earned 83 cents for every dollar paid to a man, about the same as prior years. This figure reflects those women who have remained in the workforce and does not consider the millions of women who lost or left jobs due to the pandemic. The unemployment rate for women rose more dramatically than for men, and the percentage of women in the labor force fell to the lowest it has been in decades. As job recovery begins, women are not realizing the same gains as men and 1.5 million mothers still have not returned to the workforce. Time out of the workforce affects lifetime earnings, and many employers still rely on previous wages to set salaries, further reinforcing pay discrimination. Unemployment as a result of the pandemic could compound gender pay gaps, diminishing economic security for women through their lifespan. The pandemic did not create new inequalities; it simply deepened disparities that have existed for generations. Closing the pay gap requires structural solutions such as passage of the Paycheck Fairness Act, the Family and Medical Insurance Leave Act, and Raise the Wage Act.
~ Public Policy Co-directors Angela Janik & Marian Bauer