Equal Pay Day is Tuesday, March 31, 2020. This date symbolizes how far into the year women must work to earn what men earned in the previous year.

*Engage with the Bozeman Equal Pay Day Business Discount Campaign! The following Bozeman Businesses will offer an 18%-off discount for women & non-binary folks on March 31st, to represent the average national pay gap.  The discount is scheduled to continue and will be available at all stores call-in or online if storefronts face mandated closures due to COVID 19:

Altitude Gallery: 18% off all in stock jewelry (doesn’t include sale jewelry)
134 E Main St.

Townshend’s Bozeman Teahouse: 18%-off all purchases in store
402 E. Main St. Ste. 1

Rachel Krug Photography: 18%-off any session booked that day. This includes (but is not limited to) business and branding sessions, family sessions, couple sessions, weddings, boudoir sessions, individual sessions. To claim this discount, email Rachel at rachelkrugphotography@gmail.com or message Rachel Krug Photography on Facebook.

Fix Your Accounting: Discounted 4.5 Hour (Three 90-minute sessions) one-on-one Bookkeeping Coaching Package (regularly $360). Women who are interested in claiming the discount can email jody@fixyouraccounting.com.

Country Bookshelf: 18%-off all purchases in store
28 W. Main St.

Alara Jewelry: 18%-off all in-stock, non-bridal jewelry over $200 (before discount)! Excludes loose diamonds. May not be combined with other offers.
42 W. Main St.

Red Tractor Pizza: 18%-off all purchases in store
1007 W. Main St.

The Gem Gallery: 18%-off diamond bands
402 E. Main St. Ste. 2

Treeline Coffee Roasters (both locations): 18%-off all purchases in store
624 N. Wallace Ave.
136 W. Main St.

Fresco Cafe: 18%-off wine with purchase of any meal
317 E. Mendenhall St.

Jelt: 18%-off all orders online at jeltbelt.com with Promo Code: EQUALPAY

Wild Joe’s Coffee: 18%-off any drink
18 W. Main St.

Hattie Rex: 18%-off all Hattie Rex brand products
18 S. Willson Ave.

Spring Integrative Health: 18%-off all intramuscular injectables including all B vitamins and glutathione
962 Stoneridge Dr. Ste. 2

Shine Beer Sanctuary + Bottle Shop: 18%-off Blackened Salmon Salad, Tomato Soup, Pint of select draft beer, Glass of select wine on tap
451 E. Main St.

Stuffed Crepes and Waffles: 18%-off all espresso drinks, $1-off any crepe/ waffle
26 W. Main St.

Vino Per Tutti: 18%-off one bottle from a selected female winemaker. 18% discount on all accessories.
315 E. Main St.

Old Main Gallery: 18%-off custom framing services and original artwork
129 E. Main St.

Dee-O-Gee (both locations): 18%-off everything in store except services and food
424 E. Main St. Ste. 103
2051 Oak St. Ste. 4

Evrgreen: 18%-off all sweaters
16 E. Main St.

Revolvr: 18%-off short sleeve button ups
30 W. Main St.

Zero Gravity Floating: 18% discount on all services
702 W. Main St.

Montana Angler Fly Fishing: 18%-off all retail products
435 E. Main St.

Bozeman Spirits Distillery: 18% off of all Cold Spring Vodkas, Ruby River Gin and Montana 1889 Whiskey 750ml bottles, buy 2 get 2 free copper mugs, drink specials all day long
121 W. Main St.

Meridian Boutique: 18%-off sweaters and blouses
101 E. Main St.

Head West: 18%-off all products
24 W. Main St.

Bozeman Taproom: 18%-off any drink
101 N. Rouse Ave.

Cello: 18%-off regular priced women’s clothing
2 W. Main St.

Montana Silversmiths: 18%-off all products in store
14 W. Main St.

The Bacchus Pub: 18%-off all items in store
105 W. Main St.

History and Meaning (from https://pay-equity.org/day.html):

In the United States, Equal Pay Day was originated by the National Committee on Pay Equity (NCPE) in 1996 as a public awareness event to illustrate the gap between men’s and women’s wages. (It was originally called “National Pay Inequity Awareness Day” and changed to Equal Pay Day in 1998.)

Since Census statistics showing the latest wage figures will not be available until late August or September, NCPE leadership decided years ago to select a Tuesday in April as Equal Pay Day. (Tuesday was selected to represent how far into the next work week women must work to earn what men earned the previous week.) The date also is selected to avoid religious holidays and other significant events.

Since 1996 and the founding of Equal Pay Day, the pay gap has slowly been closing, each year moving the Tuesday recognizing the pay gap earlier into the year. In 2020, the date into the current year up to which women have to work in order to earn the same pay that her male counterpart earned by the end of the previous year is March 31st (rather than a date in April).

*In Partnership with BBPW, the City of Bozeman passed Equal Pay Resolution 4601 in 2015, pioneering the way to work toward closing the wage gap in the state of Montana.

Current National Statistics and Research:

As a standard, research measures the wage gap of women of varying race and ethnicity against the annual earnings of white men. Research accounts for controlling factors, showing earnings for men and women with the same education levels, the same occupation, and the same duration of time worked.

According to the most recent updates published in the fall of 2019, on average in the United States, women earn $45,097 to men’s $55,291 annual earning. In other words, women earn 81.6% of what men earn, and the pay gap is about 18% on average.

The pay gap is drastically more disparate for women of color:
Black women earn 62% of white men
Hispanic women earn 54% of white men
Asian women earn 89% of white men
Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders earn 61% of white men
American Indian or Alaska Native earn 57% of white men

The Status of Women in Montana:

The most recent state survey of the pay status of women in Montana was produced by AAUW in September 2019, reflecting 2018 numbers. According to that research, full-time, year-round working women on average make 81.6% of what men earn, which is in line with the national average.
(from https://www.aauw.org/aauw_check/pdf_download/show_pdf.php?file=Gender_Pay_Gap_Montana)

The median earnings for women compared to men in Montana that includes part-time workers in the measurement is 77%.

Again, the gap is much larger for women of color. The Institute for Women’s Policy Research released an intersectional report in March of 2018
(https://wfmontana.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Montana-2018-1.pdf), showing that in Montana:

Black women earn 62% of white men
Hispanic women earn 54% of white men
Asian women earn 76% of white men
White women earn 73% of white men
American Indian / Native American women earn 67% of white men
Multiracial women earn 60% of white men

Comparing State by State, Montana ranks 41st in the US on the pay equity scale, 9th from the bottom.
(from https://www.aauw.org/resource/gender-pay-gap-by-state-and-congressional-district/)

How is the pay gap explained?

Research indicates that the gender pay gap develops very early in women’s careers. In Graduating to a Pay Gap: The Earnings of Women and Men One Year after College Graduation, AAUW found that just one year after college graduation, women were paid 82 percent of what men were paid.

Controls for factors known to affect earnings are observed in pay equity research, such as education and training, marital status, and hours worked; the pay gap persists when the women and men in the study have the same job, the same level of education, the same marital status, and the same hours worked.

The pay gap persists across all racial and ethnic groups, all levels of education, is found in every state and in every occupation. 

At the current rate of progress, the pay gap will not close for all women in the US until 2224 (Hispanic women).

Aside from direct discrimination (which is less common now than in generations past), the pay gap is attributed to a number of complex factors, such as subtle bias and cultural gender and work value norms. 

For example, a case of subtle bias might be that an employer is interviewing a woman for a position, and learns that she has children.  The employer might then make an assumption that the woman will be too busy managing her children and family activities to commit the time needed to perform the job duties successfully.  This is an unfair assumption, since it automatically places the responsibility of domestic responsibilities upon the woman when in fact her partner in the relationship may be the primary caregiver.  It automatically projects upon her an inability to manage personal and work time.  It is a dangerous and very negatively impactful assumption, since in reality women are the sole or co-breadwinner in approximately 66.7% of families and men are sole or co-breadwinner in 33.3%. (according to Institute for Women’s Policy Research, based on 2016 data, source: https://www.aauw.org/files/2016/02/Simple-Truth-Update-2019_v2-002.pdf)

In these biased interview cases, the employer may choose a different candidate, and often a male, based on these false and unfair assumptions.  Studies show that when a male is interviewed and it is disclosed that the male has children, employers will more likely offer the male a job, and will pay him more, assuming his role as the primary financial provider for the family.  By the numbers, men are rewarded for having children, while women are punished. These biases are rooted deeply in cultural gender roles, and the perpetuation of unconscious and habitual (rather than conscious and equitable) value norms.

Women are also less likely to value their own work, or to ask for promotions and raises. A long history of cultural norms and habit also reinforces this lack of confidence and devaluation in women, disguising it as humility that is praised as good behavior, while in comparison, men are encouraged to be bold and ask for what they’re worth as an act of bravery that is positively reinforced.

Another contributing factor to the disparity between men’s and women’s earnings is the widespread lack of a strong paid family and medical leave policy in workplaces.  Women often take on the responsibility to care for sick family members, and also take time off work for pregnancy and maternity purposes.  During these times, the activities of women to promote family and human health are often undervalued as unpaid time off.  Males predominantly stay at work and do not take time off for the family caregiving activities at the same rate as women do. As such, they continue to be paid, while the labor of women in the domestic realm is ascribed no value.  This is yet again a culturally rooted issue, and complex to address.

These factors and many others compound over a woman’s lifetime.  While men receive promotions and raises throughout their career, women fall further and further behind.  Women’s Income gap at retirement is lower, at 70.5%, meaning as women get older, the gap widens.  Women also have a lower social security draw than men in retirement, since social security is based upon wages history.

What can we do?

The gap has narrowed over the past half-century, but progress has stalled in recent years. Our federal equal pay laws need an update and agencies can do more to ensure women bring home the pay they have rightfully earned. 

Here are some activities and tools that will help close the gap (note:  *hosting establishments recognize the high importance of maintaining cleanliness and health safety standards as a public venue. Best practices are in place for the event as per the recommendations of the CDC and the Gallatin City- County Health Department that are specific to COVID-19):

*Raise awareness locally –

-WATCH the City of Bozeman Commemoration of Equal Pay Day, one of the first agenda items for the Commission Meeting on Monday, March 23rd, 2020.  The meeting begins at 6pm and will be available for live streaming online here:
>Got to https://www.bozeman.net/services/city-tv-and-streaming-audio
>click on “Recorded,”
>click on “Streaming Live”
>click on the Agenda with the movie camera on it for March 23


-Participate in the Equal Pay Day Discount Campaign by visiting Bozeman businesses on March 31st that are offering an 18%-off discount for women to represent the average national wage gap.

*Implement government and workplace policies-

-Pass federal bills advancing pay equity. Congress must take action to close the gender pay gap by passing legislation that will enable all women to take home a fair paycheck.  The Paycheck Fairness Act, for example, would protect workers by updating and strengthening the Equal Pay Act of 1963. The Pay Equity for All Act would prohibit employers from seeking salary history during the hiring process. The Fair Pay Act would require employers to provide equal pay for work of equivalent value.  

-Implement and enforce agency actions. Agencies must take action to help identify and close gender and race-based pay gaps by implementing meaningful executive branch actions.

-Prohibit retaliation against employees of federal contractors who discuss or disclose their wages. Require employers to annually collect and report summary pay data by gender, race, and ethnicity. Ensure more salaried employees receive appropriate overtime pay.

-Improve paid family, medical, and parental leave policies in workplaces

-Provide better pathways for women to enter higher paying fields, such as on the job training, workshops to develop wage negotiation skills, and initiatives to encourage women to pursue jobs in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) related fields. For tools and information on how to make a change in your business, local agencies, and community, visit https://equalpay.mt.gov/ClosetheGap

-The BPW Educational Luncheon, “Equal Pay Day Update,” presented by City HR Manager, James Henderson originally scheduled to be held at Riverside Country Club on March 18th has been cancelled.

-The announcement of the City of Bozeman Equity Plan and presentation of the Bozeman for CEDAW Initiative‘s 2019 Report and Recommendations for advancing the Status of All Women and Girls that was originally scheduled to be included in the March 23rd Commission Meeting agenda has been postponed to a later date, TBD.

-The Expanding the Story of Suffrage:  19th Amendment Centennial Panel Discussion originally scheduled to be held at the Museum of the Rockies on March 26th has been cancelled due to the MSU shut down.  Pending rescheduling for September, TBD.

Bozeman Brewing Co. Cheers for a Change, originally scheduled for March 29th has been cancelled.
Bridger Brewing Cheers for a Change originally scheduled for March 30th has been cancelled.