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What’s It Like to Work in a World of Wage Discrimination?
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by Blair Hickman
ProPublica, Apr. 8, 2014, 12:31 pm

Source: White House

It is National Equal Pay Day, the day that represents how far into 2014 women must work to match how much men made in 2013. So we’re asking women to share their experiences with what it’s like to work in a world of wage disparity, in partnership with The Guardian.

Some context: When the Equal Pay Act was signed into law in 1963, women made 59 cents on the dollar compared to men. Despite improvements, women still make just 77 percent of their male colleagues’ earnings, according to government figures.

According to recent surveys by research and advocacy groups, the gap is prevalent in every state. It is bigger amongst minorities. Women earn more than their mothers, but less than their fathers, and even in fields that women dominate, there is a gap at almost every income level. The pay gap even affects student debt burdens, as women make less than men one year out of college.

As Vox explains, several factors contribute to the gap: discrimination, hours worked, salary negotiations or selecting to drop out of the workforce. Pay secrecy is also a factor. According to one recent survey, about half of all workers – men and women – say that their workplace discourages or prohibits discussions about pay. This, in turn, can encourage wage discrimination.

Today, Obama plans to sign two executive orders to promote equal pay. One will prohibit federal contractors from punishing workers for discussing pay; the other will require contractors to submit data to the Labor Department on pay by gender and race. This push for equal pay began with the first bill he ever signed as president.

With so much attention on wage discrimination, we want to hear from women who have experienced it first hand: Have you ever been the subject of pay discrimination? What has your experience been asking for a raise?

To contribute, please fill out the form below. We may excerpt some of your answers to publish on ProPublica. Though we will publish your first name, we promise to keep your last name and email address confidential.

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