News and Announcements

Catalyst Statement on Equal Pay: Making Every Day “Equal Pay Day”

Equal Pay


NEW YORK (April 4, 2013)—We never imagined we’d need to say this so explicitly in 2013: Catalyst supports equal pay for equal work. And here’s why:

  • It’s fair. If a woman is an effective worker and a valued employee, she should be paid the same as her male peers. When women are paid less, it means they are valued less. End of story.
  • When women are paid less, they have less money to spend on food, travel, and everything else that powers our economy. (According to some estimates, the $20 trillion of consumer spending now controlled by women could climb to as high as $28 trillion in the next several years.)
  • More than 12 million families with children rely primarily on women’s earnings. When women are paid less, families have less money to spend on their children’s food, healthcare, and education.
  • In order to remain competitive, businesses need to attract and retain top talent. Paying workers fairly is one of the best ways to do this.

For all the reasons above, Catalyst again urges Congress to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act.

If passed, this Act would penalize employers who retaliate against workers for sharing salary information, require employers to prove that pay disparity is related to job performance, allow employees to seek punitive damages for pay discrimination, and establish a grant program for salary negotiation training.

In 2012, women working full-time and year-round earned, on average, 80.9 cents for every dollar earned by a man. This gap adds up. Over the span of a 40-year career, women in the United States have been estimated to lose an average of $431,000 to wage discrimination.

Catalyst believes that every day is “Equal Pay Day.” Women deserve it—and so do men, families, businesses, and society.

Founded in 1962, Catalyst is the leading nonprofit membership organization expanding opportunities for women and business. With offices in the United States, Canada, Europe, and India, and more than 600 members, Catalyst is the trusted resource for research, information, and advice about women at work. Catalyst annually honors exemplary organizational initiatives that promote women’s advancement with the Catalyst Award.