Today marks the end of the fiscal year for women.
Women still only make 77 percent of what our male counterparts make. So we have to work an extra 23% to break even with men. In calendar terms, that means today would be the end of our fiscal year as opposed to December 31. Our extra 23% of the year is up. Yippee!
[That was sarcasm.]
But not everyone can celebrate. If you’re a woman of color, your fiscal year isn’t over yet. The end of the fiscal year for black women is May 11th. The Latina end of the fiscal year is June 13th.
If only having to work an extra 23-45% of the year would give us an extension on our taxes.
You would also think that since we have to work more to earn the same money as our male counterparts, we would also be able to take time off for health reasons to keep us in working condition. But the truth of the matter is that 48% of women have no paid sick leave or paid family medical leave. So if you get sick, or have a child or family member who relies on you get sick, you either have to sacrifice your health (and that of those you work with) or sacrifice your job.
I wish I could say that this financial story had a happy ending. However, despite such victories as the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, multiple attempts to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act or the Equal Pay Act have failed. Conservatives in Congress keep digging up new ways to keep women, and especially women of color, as a cheap labor force.
But the struggle to gain equal pay is still going. The Paycheck Fairness Act has been reintroduced. Maybe the third time is the charm? And the more pressure we put on our elected officials to make sure that our paychecks are filled with dollars and not 77 cents, the sooner we will get equal pay for our equal work.