Equal Pay

The Challenge

A woman working in the U.S. today reckons with a persistent wage gap that can rob her of economic stability. If she is a woman of color, the impact is all the more dire. When women and men working both part- and full-time are included, women make only 77.3 cents for every dollar a man made in 2021. Asian American women make 95 cents on average working full-time for every $1 paid to a white man, but the gap is substantially larger for some groups of Asian American women—in some cases as low as 52 cents. Black women working full-time, year-round make 67 cents, and 64 cents working part-time. For Native women working full-time, year-round it’s 57 cents, and 51 cents for those working part-time. For Latina/x women it’s 57 cents and 54 cents respectively. And when you start disaggregating the data within these groups, the gap grows. That’s not equity.

That lost income shows up when a woman calculates if she can fill up her gas tank, what she can buy at the grocery store, whether she can comfortably pay her rent and have money left over to put in the bank, and in many cases whether she can afford child care to keep working. The gap grows wider as women move ahead in their careers, hampering the ability to build a nest egg for retirement, and challenging a family’s financial future.

Even with the same background, same education, same skills, same hours, in the same jobs, a gender wage gap persists. It exists in every industry, at all levels. Women deserve to be valued and paid the same as our male equivalents—and given an equal chance at economic security and advancement.

What We're Doing

WE are charging forward to win fair wages for women working in Illinois and across the nation. We’re collaborating with partners nationwide, like the National Women’s Law Center and AAUW, to raise awareness about the dual impact that race and gender have on the wage gap by bringing attention to all the Equal Pay Days across various racial and ethnic groups.

And WE are digging deeper into the fight to ensure that all women are paid fairly by advocating for laws that will advance equal pay.

WE championed and won a No Salary History law in Illinois that prevents employers from asking job candidates about their past wages.

WE are advocating for an end to the subminimum wage for tipped workers, who are disproportionately women and people of color, so that everyone can earn a full and fair wage with tips on top.

WE helped win recent increases to the minimum wage in Illinois and Chicago—which will help close the wage gap by giving a raise to the women overrepresented in low-paid jobs. We’re also working to end the sub-minimum tipped wage.

Know Your Rights

Illinois has a new No Salary History law. Download our toolkit to learn what it means for you!

Take Action

Support a Full and Fair Wage

Take action to eliminate the two-tiered wage system by ending the subminimum wage for tipped workers.

Act Now For Paycheck Fairness

Sign the petition to let our policymakers know we need stronger protections against pay discrimination.

Share Your Story

Have you experienced pay discrimination at work? We want to hear from you!

Help us lead change

Increase educational success and improve workplace fairness