EQUAL PAY DAY: National statistics show that women make $.82 for every dollar a man makes. In Pennsylvania, the wage gap is even bigger with women making $.79 for every dollar that a man makes.
- Well, today is Equal Pay Day across America. It is a day that points to one of the serious inequities in our society, how much money, on the average, a woman makes compared to a man. "Action News" reporter Tarhonda Thomas is live at 19th and Market in Center City, Philadelphia. Tarhonda, we've been talking about this for years, but the inequity still exists.
TARHONDA THOMAS: It still does. And the wage gap can affect any woman. Let's talk about first lady Dr. Jill Biden. Even she talks about being underpaid early in her career.
Now, here in Pennsylvania, women, on average, make $0.79 for every dollar that a man makes, meaning advocates still have to push for equal pay.
- I can't imagine actually working for anybody else.
TARHONDA THOMAS: [? Robin ?] [? Eklund ?] loves being her own boss.
- It's like a combination of a lot of passions.
TARHONDA THOMAS: But she wonders, during her early days in the New York fashion industry of finding looks for the runway--
- It was $150 a week.
TARHONDA THOMAS: --gave her a fair pay day.
- I'm sure there were men who were making a lot more money.
TARHONDA THOMAS: And it's still that way. Nationally, women make $0.82 for every man makes, keeping that glass ceiling intact. Equal Pay Day aims to shatter it.
- It's just recognition of the fact that the gaps do still exist.
TARHONDA THOMAS: For anyone wondering why Equal Pay Day is today, well, that's because for the amount of money a man made by December 31 of last year, a woman had to work until March 24 to make that same amount. Now, women of color have to work even longer. Black women don't receive their equal pay day until they get all the way to August. And Hispanic women don't reach theirs until October.
- It's a startling reality.
TARHONDA THOMAS: Add to that COVID, with studies showing that women, especially women of color, are more likely to be laid off during the pandemic.
- We also have to raise the minimum wage. As we're seeing all of these women leaving the workforce and how that's actually narrowing the gap really shows what an impact, you know, the fact that women are concentrated in low-wage jobs.
TARHONDA THOMAS: For women who think they're being underpaid--
- First of all, you have to do your research.
TARHONDA THOMAS: --then negotiate.
- You need to know your worth and know your value.
TARHONDA THOMAS: Knowing her worth, [? Robin ?] now pulls her own purse strings, rooting for the day when all women have equal pay.
- We should have equal pay.
TARHONDA THOMAS: As part of "Our America, Women Forward," we're streaming a town hall called "In the Workforce." You can find it on the 6abc app, which is available on streaming services like Apple TV, Roku, and Fire TV. In Center City, Tarhonda Thomas, "Channel 6 Action News." Jim?
- And by the way, Tarhonda, we want to congratulate you on your new role here at "Action News" as our race and culture reporter. I want our viewers to know that you will be working with the "Action News" newsroom, and of course, the ABC race and culture unit, to expand the perspectives and the voices in our storytelling. Boy, do we look forward to your stories covering the diversity of our community.
TARHONDA THOMAS: I definitely look forward to it, too. And I'm looking forward to hearing from people about the kinds of stories that they want to see reflected about their communities, Jim.
- Tarhonda Thomas, thank you so much.