Equal Pay Day note from the Executive Director: It pays to be part of this movement

By Noreen Farrell, Executive Director

Dear friend,

Equal Pay Day 2023 is next Tuesday, March 14, and it is a special one. As we mark this year’s 60th anniversary of the federal Equal Pay Act, we also celebrate the 10th anniversary of our beloved national collaborative, the Equal Pay Today campaign.

Equal Pay Today was founded with organizational partners from states and the national stage 10 years ago. Together, we committed to share leadership and resources to close the gender, race, and LGBTQIA+ wage gaps for those most impacted by inequities. Indeed, ERA’s first order of business was to raise $750,000 to fund fair pay state projects of other Equal Pay Today members. (Thank you, Ford Foundation!) Today, our Roundtable is 40+ organizations strong, and we engage hundreds more organizations in actions throughout the year.

Our theory of change is simple, but comprehensive: 

  1. Support and accelerate fair pay progress state by state and drive federal momentum.
  2. Address all the contributors to the gap: pay discrimination, salary secrecy, wage theft, caregiver discrimination and lack of family support interrupting steady income, the segregation of women into underpaid work, too low of a minimum wage, and a subminimum wage impoverishing tipped workers. 
  3. Lift up the impacts of the pay gap for many retiring into financial insecurity
  4. Count all workers — full-time, part-time, and seasonal — to ensure all women are represented in our efforts.
  5. Activate both workers and employers.
  6. Center the leadership of groups prioritizing low paid, immigrant, LGBTQIA+ and underserved workers of color.

We are winning: After Equal Rights Advocates and partners introduced one of the strongest state equal pay laws in the country in California, Equal Pay Today supported 42 states that introduced similar or stronger laws. Dozens of states have now banned reliance on prior salary to set hiring pay (helping to ensure pay discrimination from one job does not follow a person to their next job). 8 states now require employers to post salary bands, and pay data reporting is now the law in California. 16 more states have introduced similar bills in 2023, and we are targeting 25 states to abolish the subminimum wage for tipped workers. 2023 will also include a major drive to pass the federal Paycheck Fairness Act to benefit 131 million workers, no matter their zip code.

Beyond our work with advocates and policy makers, EPT’s individual grassroots supporters grow exponentially each year. Equal pay advocates new and old participate in our awareness-raising “social media storms” on 7 Equal Pay Days each year (including separate days for Black, Latina, Native, and AANHPI women). Of last year’s 142,000+ participants were President Biden, VP Harris, ABC, CNN, and many more big names. Adding up every participant’s followers, our message of equal pay reaches as many as 200 million people throughout the year. 

Next week, we’re back at it again, this time from the White House! Sign up for our Action Alert emails and follow the fun on social media via Equal Pay Today (@equalpay2dayorg) and Equal Rights Advocates (@equalrightsadv). You’ll be in great company, believe me: it really pays to be part of this movement.


P.S. I am thrilled to show you our new Equal Pay Today logo, reflecting our values of inclusivity for people across all gender identities harmed by pay disparities:Equal Pay Today: A project at Equal Rights Advocates


Old logo:

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