Equal Pay Day movement underscores pay inequality based on gender
CHICAGO – April 12, 2011. Lt. Governor Simon joined with state and local officials and members of the community to rally at Daley Plaza today in support of pay equality for women. The annual observation of Equal Pay Day marks how far into the new year a woman must work, on average, to earn as much as a man did in the previous year.
“I have long advocated for the rights of the citizens of Illinois,” Simon said. “Our fight for equality is not yet over, though, and we will continue to work together to bring about change and ensure that all people earn equal pay for equal work.”
Despite great strides, employment discrimination and unfairness in the workplace have persisted. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Illinois women earn only 78 cents to every dollar a man earns, regardless of education, occupation or experience. Throughout her lifetime, a woman could lose up to $1.2 million due to the wage gap.
In recognition of the day, Simon delivered a proclamation from Governor Pat Quinn establishing April 12, 2011 as Illinois Equal Pay Day. The proclamation aims to highlight the value of women’s skills and contributions in the workplace, while bringing notice to pay discrepancies. Quinn urges businesses throughout the state to provide equal pay for equal work as a matter of fairness and good business practice.
“I strive to ensure that fairness in the workplace is achieved, through hiring, benefits and wages,” Simon said. “I will work tirelessly with our advocates to ensure pay equity is achieved.”