Making sense of Equal Pay Day

Published: Apr. 4, 2017 at 6:27 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) --- April 4th marks Equal Pay Day and the reason why it's held on that day may surprise you.

April 4th is a clear reminder, the wage gap still exists. In fact, a woman would have to work this many extra days into the year just to get equal pay as men from 2016.

Professor Christine Whelan says the first step to breaking down this barrier is to start talking about money.

To break it down for you, Whelan says white women make 83 cents on the dollar compared to men. Black women make 66 cents on the dollar, while Hispanic women make 60 cents on the dollar compared to men.

She says if you don't know how much your counterparts are making, you won't know how to bargain.

"That's actually how inequality persists. Talk about it. Talk about how much you're making, ask your friends about what their compensation is. Money is not a dirty conversation to discuss and shedding light on it is how we get toward equality," said Professor Christine Whelan, in the School of Human Ecology at UW-Madison.

Whelan says a big reason why the pay gap is still this large is because we often do not reward women for negotiating and standing up for their skill sets.

Whelan also says when it comes to this day, we should not forget about the men.

She encourages men to fight for what they want. She says ultimately it could lead to more family leave and more flexibility, which will also lead to more equality.

Copyright 2017: WMTV