March 24, 2021: Equal Pay Day

WHEREAS, more than 50 years after the passage of the federal Equal Pay Act, women in Michigan continue to suffer the consequences of unequal pay; and,


WHEREAS, according to Graduating to a Pay Gap, a research report by the American Association of University Women (AAUW), the gender pay gap exists at all levels of work in almost every occupation, cutting across all age groups and demographics, and widening significantly for women of color; and,


WHEREAS, women in the U.S. who work full-time, year-round are typically paid only 82 cents for every dollar paid to their male counterparts, according to the National Women's Law Center; and,


WHEREAS, according to Michigan's Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives, in Michigan, for every dollar white, non-Hispanic men make, white, non-Hispanic women earn 76 cents, Black/African American women earn 65 cents, and Hispanic/Latina women earn 57 cents; and,


WHEREAS, throughout the US, according to the AAUW report, the wage gap for many women of color is not only wider than the overall gender wage gap, but it is also closing more slowly; and,


WHEREAS, also according to AAUW, women with children earn only 73% of what fathers earn; and,


WHEREAS, a lifetime of lower pay means women face an overall wealth gap, with less income to save for retirement and less income counted in a Social Security or pension benefit formula; and,


WHEREAS, the public and private sectors can implement fair pay equity policies without undue costs of hardship; and,


WHEREAS, fair pay strengthens the security of families today and eases future retirement costs while enhancing the American economy; and,


WHEREAS, Tuesday, March 24, 2021 marks the days into the year it takes for all US women on average to earn what all US men did the previous year;


NOW, THEREFORE, I, Gretchen Whitmer, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim March 24, 2021 as Equal Pay Day in Michigan.