Equal Pay Day symbolizes the number of days, on average, that women have to work past the end of the previous year to have earned the same amount of money as men in that year. In 2021, Wednesday, March 24th was Equal Pay Day. The date signifies that a woman would have had to work nearly three full months into 2021 until she would earn the same amount earned by a male counterpart in 2020. Put another way, women earn in 15 months what men earn in just 12 months.
Lean In's website provides representations of current data on the gender pay gap. Data representations include bar graphs and line graphs. Graphs and charts include:
- The pay gap by gender and race
- The pay gap by education level (with options to compare earnings of women of different races with those of white men)
- The pay gap by occupation (with options to compare earnings of women of different races with those of white men)
- Average lost income over a 40-year career due to the pay gap, broken down by race
In a math class, these data could be tied in to lessons on representations of data and proportional reasoning. They could also be incorporated into lessons in other subjects such as history, civics, government, or politics.
After learning about the gender pay gap, students may want to talk about how to negotiate for a raise. This page offers some statistics on negotiating for raises from both the employee and employer sides. It also offers advice on deciding whether to pursue a raise and how to go about doing it. (Note that the target audience for the site is people pursuing or considering pursuing graduate degrees, so teachers may want to curate the advice for relevance.
Some ideas for sample math units/lessons:
- Being Counted: Probability & Statistics, Part 2, one of NYSED/CUNY's Fast Track GRASP Math Learning Modules
- Activities about communicating about data at Statistics for Action
- Question Page from Mathematics Teaching in Middle School (NCTM) (NCTM members click here to access the full article.)
Other general resources on the topic include:
- Equal Pay Day at census.gov - includes several interesting infographics
- National Committee on Pay Equity - the history of Equal Pay Day
- A Proclamation from the White House on Equal Pay Day 2021
- Equal Pay Days for women of different races (Asian American and Pacific Islander, Black, Native, Latina)