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On Equal Pay Day, how far have we come in 2018?

A large amount of documented evidence of gender inequalities in the workplace, and in society more broadly, remains


Shira Tarlo
April 10, 2018 9:10PM (UTC)

Today is Equal Pay Day — the annual day that marks the large wage discrepancies that exist between men and women in the labor force.

Equal Pay Day was started by the National Committee on Pay Equity (NCPE) in 1996 to point to the gap between men and women’s salaries. According to the organization, it is held every April to highlight how far into the year women need to work to earn what men did the year prior. Equal Pay Day is also always held on a Tuesday to “represent how far into the next work week women must work to earn what men earned the previous week." In other words, because women earn less on average than men do, they must work more to earn the same amount.

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On Monday, the head of programming at HBO said the network has reviewed all of its shows and corrected gender pay gap disparities among staff, inspired by "Big Little Lies" star and producer Reese Witherspoon and the larger Time's Up movement, which the Academy Award winner helped spearhead.

“One of the things that’s come out of thinking about the movement and some conversations with Reese, who’s really at the forefront, is something we’ve done recently,” Casey Bloys, HBO’s president of programming, said to The Hollywood Reporter. “We’ve proactively gone through all of our shows. In fact, we just finished our process where we went through and made sure that there were no inappropriate disparities in pay. And where there were – if we found any – we corrected it going forward."

Despite some signs of improvement, at the current rate of progress, the wage gap will not be closed for another 217 years, according to economists.

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Here are several stories about the wage inequality that Salon has already covered this year. They shine a light on how pervasive the problem is across industries, including the entertainment, finance and technology sectors.

Jan. 4: Women are surpassing their male peers in college graduation rates — but college alone isn’t closing the gender wage gap.

Jan. 19: At a #TimesUp meeting, it is revealed that "Black-ish" star Tracee Ellis Ross is paid "significantly less" than her co-star Anthony Anderson.

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Jan. 25: The fight to close the pay gap in Hollywood is not just about pay equity between men and women — it’s also about ensuring that women of color get compensated equally to their white women co-stars. Actress Jessica Chastain helped Octavia Spencer get equal pay — and it was great, but sadly necessary.

Feb. 2: Comedian and actor Mo'Nique comes forward with a screenshot of what she alleges is the contract Netflix offered her for a comedy special — and it cast the company in the worst of lights.

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Mar. 13: Producers of "The Crown” admit that Claire Foy, the star of the Netflix historic drama and winner of a Golden Globe for her spot-on and humanizing portrayal of Queen Elizabeth II, was paid less than her co-star Matt Smith, who plays Prince Philip.

Mar. 16: Female employees at Goldman Sachs make 56% less than men on average. It’s one of the steepest pay gaps recorded.

Mar. 26: A study finds that employers would rather hire women who got B’s over those who got A’s, and that male and female job candidates were evaluated very differently.

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Apr. 4: Apple acknowledges that male employees earned 5% more on average than women at the company's U.K. operations.

The above stories do not include every example of gender inequality – and are only meant to highlight that the wage gap persists, despite claims from skeptics like Fox News host Tucker Carlson, who concluded that it is a myth.


Shira Tarlo

Contact Shira Tarlo at shira.tarlo@salon.com. Follow @shiratarlo.

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