AUGUSTA – Tuesday, April 10, 2018, marks Equal Pay Day. This date symbolizes how far into the year women must work to earn what men earned in the previous year. Because women earn less, on average, than men, they must work longer for the same amount of pay. The wage gap is even greater for most women of color.  According to statistics released in 2016 by the United States Census Bureau, women are paid, on average, 80 cents for every dollar their male counterparts are paid — a gap of 20 cents. According to the American Association of University Women, at the current pace women will have to wait 100 years to earn the same pay as men.

Speaker of the House Sara Gideon released the following statement:

“Not only does the gender wage gap rob women of a fair paycheck, it makes families less secure and slows economic growth. A record number of women are now the primary breadwinners in their families, yet they are systematically shortchanged when it comes to their salary. These women, their families, businesses and the Maine economy suffer as a result. We must do better.”

House Majority Leader Erin Herbig released the following statement:

“Women face daily challenges that threaten their ability to stay in the workforce. The pay gap coupled with a lack of affordable child care and sick leave make working full time as a mother difficult for most and impossible for some. The strength of Maine’s economy depends on women and men pulling ahead together and right now, we’re not doing enough to make that possible.”