There are several things than can be done to help all women, said Joi Chaney, campaign manager for Equal Pay Today, a campaign launched by the Tides Center, a philanthropic partner and nonprofit accelerator that focuses on social justice.
1. Close enforcement loopholes. Reducing barriers to courts and updating legislation such as the Equal Pay Act, which was passed in 1963, will help, Chaney said. One proposed act is the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would make critical changes to help workers and hold employers accountable, according to the American Civil Liberties Union. The bill was introduced in the House in April 2017, but has since stalled.
2. Fix data collection. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission collects a wealth of information about the workforce, but pay data are not included. This makes it much harder for the EEOC to discover pay discrimination, said Chaney.
3. Get rid of policies that don’t benefit anyone. One such practice is asking for a prior salary to determine wages at a new job, Chaney said. If you’ve been underemployed or had depressed income in the past, this practice can keep you from making more.
4. Increase the minimum wage. An increase in minimum wage would be beneficial to many workers and women, Chaney said. In addition, she said that raising the minimum wage for tipped workers would improve working conditions for women and women of color, who make up a majority of tipped workers.