U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown released the following statement today as the Senate prepares to hold the first procedural vote on the Paycheck Fairness Act. The Paycheck Fairness Act, of which Brown is a cosponsor, would help close the loopholes that allow pay discrimination to happen in the first place and help women successfully fight for the equal pay they earn.
"It's simple: equal pay should be provided for equal work. But today in Ohio, women earn only 85 cents to every dollar earned by a man, which leadings to a staggering gap of $472,000 over a lifetime for the average Ohio woman," Brown said. "The Paycheck Fairness Act would strengthen the ability of women to fight for equal pay, which is so critical because the wage gap doesn't just affect women--it affects families and children, too. Closing the wage gap means stronger family finances and the ability for women to be able to better provide for their families."
Despite the Equal Pay Act being signed into law nearly 50 years ago, according to the Joint Economic Committee, women in Ohio, on average, earn almost 85 cents for every dollar paid to men. Over their lifetime, these women will earn $472,000 less than their male counterparts. Women make up 49 percent of Ohio's workforce and 33 percent of married employed mothers in Ohio are their families' primary wage earners.
In addition, according to Bloomberg News and the Census Bureau, research has demonstrated that regardless of occupation, education, industry, marital status, and other factors, pay for women lags behind their male counterparts. Women's median earnings are less than men's median earnings in 264 of 265 major occupation categories, including the following occupations in Ohio:
Management, business and financial, earning 66% of their male counterparts' salaries;
Computer, engineering, and science, earning 82% of their male counterparts' salaries; and
Sales, earning 41% of their male counterparts' salaries.