Equal Pay Day in the United States of America

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Gender Pay Gap in the USA

The Gender Pay Gap in the USA stays at 16 per cent. Yet, the GPG for women of colour is even higher.

Interestingly, the Gender Pay Gap in the USA is measured as the cents women earn for each dollar men earn. So, women currently earn 84 cents of each dollar men earn.

Equal Pay Day in the USA

The Equal Pay Day in the USA ist organised by the National Committee on Pay Equity (NCPE), founded in 1979. The NCPE is a coalition of women's and civil rights organizations; labor unions; religious, professional, legal, and educational associations, commissions on women, state and local pay equity coalitions and individuals working to eliminate sex- and race-based wage discrimination and to achieve pay equity.[1]

In the USA, it has been decided to set the EPD on a fixed day - a Tuesday in April. A Tuesday was selected to represent how far into the work week women must work to earn what men earned the previous week. In addition, the date also is selected to avoid religious holidays and other significant events. [2]

Equal Pay Day 2018 & 2019

In past years, LeanIn has taken also taken the initiative to mobilise for equal pay and the gender pay gap. Focus has been laid upon both individual action and companies' acitivities to tackle the root causes of the wage gap.

Equal Pay Day 2017

The Equal Pay Day 2017 took place on April 4. The EPD was accompanied by large media coverage for several reasons: first, the general political debate in the US dealt with legislation that has been introduced during the Obama administration and that have and will be removed during the current admistration. This notion has also been under discussion for the entire current terms of presidency and the women's march movement.

Second, Sheryl Sandberg placed high emphasise on the EPD 2017. With her organisation LeanIn, she started a large discount of 20 per cent to raise awareness on the pay gap of 20 per cent in the US.

Third, due to the strong call for equal pay in Hollywood, many actresses and actors have stood up and demanded equal pay. Furthermore, the US Soccer Women's National Team and US Hockey Women's National Team have filed claims for equal pay. Both cases could have been solved and compensation agreements be found. All cases created considerable attention in public and the media, which also heated up the debate on Equal Pay Day 2017.

Equal Pay Day 2016

The EPD in the USA took place on April 12, 2016, showing the gender pay gap of then 21 per cent.

For further campaign information on previous years see the NCPE archives.


  1. National Committee on Pay Equity
  2. Equal Pay Day in the USA

Related Links

ILO: Global Wage Report 2018/19

National Committee on Pay Equity

Equal Pay Day in the USA

United States Department of Labour: It's Time for #EqualPayNow