Equal Pay Day 2024 | HowMoneyWorks
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Equal Pay Day 2024

March 12, 2024
HMW4W
Financial Literacy
Personal Finance

A Milestone and a Spotlight

Equal Pay Day symbolizes the ongoing struggle for gender wage equality. This significant day sheds light on the additional days women must work into the new year to reach parity with their male counterparts' earnings from the previous year.  In 2024, women did not catch up to men’s income from 2023 until March 12th, more than two months after the end of the year.1

Despite progress made since the Equal Pay Act was established in 1963 during President Kennedy's administration, the journey to closing the gender pay gap remains fraught with challenges and slow progress. Addressing systemic barriers and advocating for fair wages for all individuals, regardless of gender, remains a crucial focus in our ongoing pursuit of equality in the workplace.

The landscape in 1963 witnessed a groundbreaking moment with the Equal Pay Act, a pivotal step toward eliminating wage discrimination based on gender. At that time, women earned a mere 60 cents for every dollar a man made. Moving forward to 1990, thirty years later, the gap only slightly narrowed to 70 cents.2 Fast forward another three decades to today, and women now earn 82 cents for every $1 men earn. While this progress is commendable, it reveals the gradual and uneven trajectory toward equality.3

The disparities are even worse for women of color, who confront the compounded challenges of gender and racial pay gaps. Black women earn 58 cents, Latinas earn 54 cents, and Native American women earn 60 cents for every $1 white, non-Hispanic men earn. Consequently, Equal Pay Day for these groups falls much later in the year (July 9 for Black women, October 3 for Latinas, and November 21 for Native women), casting a long shadow over their economic contributions and rights.1

Projections indicate that the gender pay gap may persist until 2059, a further 35 years into the future.4 This sluggish rate of change is unacceptable. It demands a renewed dedication to policies and strategies addressing the core issues of wage inequality. The gender pay gap transcends being merely a women's issue; it is a societal matter impacting the financial welfare of families and communities.

Advocating for pay transparency, robust enforcement of equal pay regulations, and bolstering support for women in underrepresented high-paying professions are crucial steps to expedite progress. Additionally, combatting the "motherhood penalty" and strong support for work-life balance is paramount to prevent women from sacrificing career growth for family obligations.

Equal Pay Day serves as both a milestone recognizing advancements women have achieved and a spotlight on the work that lies ahead. It beckons policymakers, employers, and individuals to redouble their efforts in attaining genuine wage parity. Let this Equal Pay Day not only be a commemoration of the past but a catalyst for a future where pay fairness is not just an aspiration but a concrete reality. The journey is long, but the goal remains clear: a future where pay is based on skill and ability, not gender or race.

Kim Scouller


1. AAUW, “March 12 is Equal Pay Day 2024,” (2024). https://www.aauw.org/resources/article/equal-pay-day-calendar/

2. Investopedia, “Gender and Income Inequality: History and Statistics,” GregDaugherty (Mar 1, 2023). https://www.investopedia.com/history-gender-wage-gap-america-5074898

3. Pew Research Center, “The Enduring Grip of the GenderPay Gap,” Rokesh Kochhar (Mar 1, 2023). https://www.pewresearch.org/social-trends/2023/03/01/the-enduring-grip-of-the-gender-pay-gap/#:~:text=The%20gender%20pay%20gap%20–%20the%20difference%20between,when%20they%20earned%2080%20cents%20to%20the%20dollar.

4. Forbes, “Gender Pay Gap Statistics in 2024,” KatherineHaan (Feb 27, 2023). https://www.forbes.com/advisor/business/gender-pay-gap-statistics/