Here’s How Men Can Help Us Close the Pay Gap For Good

by Michelle Guerrere
PHOTO:

Christian Vierig/Getty Images

On Equal Pay Day next Tuesday, April 4, we'll be wearing red as part of a national course of action to signify how "in the red" women and minorities are when it comes to pay. It’s fair—and necessary—to think about how we can make sure the men in our lives care as much about pay equality as we do. Equal Pay Day began in 1996 when the National Committee on Pay Equity created an awareness event to show the pay gap between men and women’s wages (as of last year, women made on average 76% of what men made). According to The American Association of University Women (AAUW), the pay gap won’t close until 2152. Although there is a long way to go, it’s important that men understand (and hopefully support) the movement. With the help of Pay Scale, we’ve rounded up the top reasons why men should care about Equal Pay Day.

It boils down to fairness: It’s not about lowering men’s salaries, it’s about being fair—there’s no reason why women shouldn’t have the same opportunities as their male counterparts. If men have a hard time understanding, it may help to make it personal: they should think about their wives, girlfriends, mothers, sisters and friends and how they are being paid unfairly.

Company morale is at stake: Research by PayScale finds that companies who do not show they are doing anything to combat the pay gap will experience increased turnover. In fact, a reported 71 percent of women and 74 percent of men said they would look for a new job in the next 6 months if they felt their company was not doing anything to address gender equality.

Men can help: By choosing to mentor female employees at work, drawing up a company-wide petition for equal pay or even just listening to the females in their life, men can truly help. Pay equity is just as much of a social movement as it is a financial one—it won't take foot until everyone is on board.

Be sure to read up on how Emmy Rossum fought for equal pay at work, and tell us what you’ll be doing to “celebrate” equal pay day in the comments.

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