CLICK TO SHARE
An anonymous letter pointing out how Lilly Ledbetter was earning 40% less than the male workers in her position sparked a decade-long crusade for equal pay that rose all the way to the Supreme Court, reverberated through the halls of Congress, and culminated with the passage of the Lilly Ledbetter Pay Act in 2009.
The equal pay pioneer now advises women to get their equal pay upfront. “Even if it's a starting pay, it must be right because [raises] are generally percentages of what you're making. So you need to start out with as much as you can get under the law,” she said. For instance, a pay gap at the start of a woman’s career can last throughout her working years: Women’s lower lifetime earnings means they get lower Social Security payments and experience fewer opportunities to save for retirement, according to the Department of Labor.
In an interview with Yahoo Finance Live, Ledbetter encouraged women to research how much similar jobs at other companies pay.
“There's so much information and so much knowledge on the internet and other sources that we can look up,” she said. “And we can know what the going rate for that job is locally. And we can know and have a good idea of what we should be paid. And if we're not getting that, we need to, on a job, find out exactly what the problem is so we can get our income up.”
Walking away is always an option though not one Ledbetter suggests women take lightly. “If you can't work out and reach an agreement and a decision, sometimes you have to change jobs. That's not a good thing to do. Most people, they're building a retirement. They're building a program and a network, and they like where they're at, so they want to make it work,” she said.
If you don't see any comments yet, congrats! You get first comment. Be nice and have fun.
CLICK TO SHARE