Stand Up on Equal Pay Day

It happened to tennis great Martina Navratilova. To actress Michelle Williams. And to TV pundit Mika Brzezinski. All high-profile women. And all burned by the disparity in pay between them and their male counterparts. To their credit – and to the satisfaction of women everywhere – they spoke up, loudly and clearly: they spotlighted the unfair, unequal treatment they faced because they are women. 

As a former Wall Street bond trader, I experienced that same unfairness. Despite equal experience and matching educations, my male colleagues enjoyed fatter paychecks for performing the same work. That burns me today as much as it did then. 

Equal Pay Day this year is tomorrow, April 10. It’s always on April 10 to symbolize how far into the year women must work to earn what men earned in the previous year. Believe it or not, women are typically paid just 80 cents for every dollar paid to men, and that number has changed little in a decade. For women of color, that figure is worse; they earn just 66 cents for every dollar earned by a male counterpart. 

When Martina Navratilova learned that fellow commentator John McEnroe was making ten times what she was for commentary at Wimbledon, she slammed employer BBC for the pay disparity. “It makes me angry for other women that go through this, too,” she said.

Equal Pay Day is a reminder that despite progress, the wage gap persists. Women have years to go when it comes to economic equality. 

As a woman running for Montgomery County Executive, you can be sure this issue is of great importance to me. It will be ever-present in my decision-making as we work to right this wrong. 

Join me tomorrow in wearing red, symbolizing how women are in the red when it comes to average male-female pay comparisons, and stand up for equal pay!