For most of this country’s history, marginalized groups were either not allowed to participate in certain jobs, or their opportunities in those professions were limited. This legacy persists today not only in the opportunities afforded to people, but also in the compensation people receive for performing the same work.
This is stupid. People should receive equal pay for doing equal work. While federal law requires this, we’re still far from achieving it in practice. There’s a lot of fuzziness around the $.80-to-the-dollar stat, especially once you take race as well as gender into account, but the simple fact remains that women—especially black, Hispanic, and Native American women—earn much less than their male coworkers.
Laws that prevent employers from retaliating against workers who share salary data, and others that force employers to disclose that information, are band-aids that try to account for the issue on the back-end. The federal government must do more to ensure that anyone performing the same work in substantially similar situations should receive equal pay.
Women are often under-compensated because their work is not properly valued by employers, who believe that they will accept less than they are worth. We need to empower women to get paid what they deserve by their employers and make the workplace fair to women. This includes, of course, women getting equal pay for the work that they do. In many of my companies, women have been the key leaders and team members making great things happen every day. This is the case in companies across the country and should be rewarded and recognized in the most direct manner possible—in what they get paid.
Problems to be Solved
- Women receive less pay for the same work as men do
- The discrepancy in pay faced by black, Hispanic, and Native American women is even more pronounced
- Promote equal pay for equal work
- Work to alleviate the racial discrepancies in pay
As President, I will…
- Pay all federal workers who are performing the same job the same salary.
- Work with states to implement salary disclosure laws.
- Refuse to hire outside contractors/companies that won’t disclose salary information for their employees, and who don’t provide equal pay for all employees who are performing equivalent work.
- Pilot studies to see if different policies result in more equitable hiring and pay in the federal workforce (e.g., blind hiring; 360-review promotion).