‘Equal Pay Day:' How to Close the Gender Pay Gap

Closing the gap and leveling out the financial playing field remains an issue, advocates say

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Wednesday is Equal Pay Day -- the date symbolizing how far into the year a woman must work to earn the same amount a man did in the previous year.

It's certainly not a day to celebrate.

It's an old conversation surrounding money and equality, but advocates say closing the gap and leveling out the financial playing field remains an issue.

We know women have left the workforce at a much higher rate than men during the pandemic. In fact, many advocates believe the pandemic may be sending us backward when it comes to gender equality.

Cathy Dewitt Dunn, a Dallas-based financial expert, says on average, women in the U.S. make 82 cents for every dollar a man makes. The pay gap is even wider for women of color and working moms.

Moms make 70 cents for every dollar a dad makes. This pay gap is affecting much more than women's income. It also has lasting impacts on their savings and retirement.

So what can women do to catch up and even the playing field?

Dunn says there are a number of things that women can do right now. And the first thing is to take control.

"And if that even includes budgeting daily or doing long-term planning, it's so important because you're going to need to have some strategies for your retirement income maybe down the road," said Dunn.

She also suggests women strategize social security. She says if you can delay collecting benefits past your full retirement age, your benefit will continue to grow until you turn 70.

Also, save for emergencies, the average American has less than $600 in their savings account. If you don't have an emergency fund, Dunn says you should start putting a portion of each paycheck into a separate savings account.

That emergency fund should have enough cash to cover 3 to 6 months of expenses.

ONLINE: For more of Dunn's tips: www.dewittanddunn.com

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