Twitter screenshot

Here’s an idea, people at the White House: Instead of tweeting righteous messages about the need to close the income gap between men and women, why don’t you press for laws to do away with that margin of baked-in gender bias in America’s workplaces?

On Tuesday, to commemorate “Equal Pay Day”—dedicated to highlighting one of the nation’s most persistent social problems—the media team at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. posted a tweet about the long-overdue necessity to redress wage inequality between men and women in the U.S. (see above image), prompting the the New York Civil Liberties Union to respond with an action item that the Obama administration can add to its to-do list. This being 2015 and all.

Also read: Hillary Clinton 2016: 3 … 2 … 1 … (Updated)

So, how about it, guys?

The Pew Research Center put together some handy facts about how gender issues play out in the workplace, and show up in paychecks, in this current time and place:

According to the White House, full-time working women earn 77% of what their male counterparts earn. This means that women have to work approximately 60 extra days, or about three months, to earn what men did by the end of the previous year. However, our own estimate, which is based on hourly earnings of both full- and part-time workers, finds women earn 84 percent of what men earn. Based on our estimate, it would take approximately 40 days, or until the end of February for women to earn what men had by the end of last year.

Of course, the customary maternity-leave counterpoint to the argument about systemic bias has its place, and the Pew post pointed out that younger women may have it better than their more seasoned counterparts did.

But as the NYCLU noted, there are other dimensions to the overall pay disparity picture, such as race, that must also be considered. “Women in New York earn only 86 percent of what men earn. Black women earn just 66 percent of what white men earn and Latina women earn just 55 percent of what white men earn,” the organization noted on its site Tuesday.

To really drive it home, here’s a sobering bit from CNN Money about women retiring in poverty.

And the American Association of University Women whipped up this handy map illustrating how the pay gap varies around the country by state and congressional district.

Find out how to write your local congressperson here and your senator here.

Maybe we could all go ahead and arrange to not need to observe this occasion in 2016.

–Posted by Kasia Anderson

Wait, before you go…

If you're reading this, you probably already know that non-profit, independent journalism is under threat worldwide. Independent news sites are overshadowed by larger heavily funded mainstream media that inundate us with hype and noise that barely scratch the surface. We believe that our readers deserve to know the full story. Truthdig writers bravely dig beneath the headlines to give you thought-provoking, investigative reporting and analysis that tells you what’s really happening and who’s rolling up their sleeves to do something about it.

Like you, we believe a well-informed public that doesn’t have blind faith in the status quo can help change the world. Your contribution of as little as $5 monthly or $35 annually will make you a groundbreaking member and lays the foundation of our work.

Support Truthdig