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Equal Pay Day, Tammy Duckworth, Loretta Lynch: Broadsheet April 10

April 10, 2018, 12:26 PM UTC

Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Equal Pay Day is upon us, Illinois Sen. Tammy Duckworth becomes the first in the chamber to give birth, and Loretta Lynch is back in the headlines because emailgate is will never end. Have an equitable Tuesday.


Myth-busting. As readers of this newsletter, you probably—hopefully!—understand what pay inequity is and at least some of the things that factor into it. Unfortunately, one in three Americans still aren't aware of the gender pay gap, according to new research conducted by Lean In and SurveyMonkey. So, in honor of Equal Pay Day—which we "celebrate" today because it's the day through which the average U.S. woman would have to work in 2018 to earn what the average U.S. man did in 2017—Kristen busts five of the most common myths about the pay gap.

1. There's no such thing! While 37% of men apparently don't think the gender pay gap is real, the government—and numerous non-partisan research groups—disagree. Depending on how it's measured and who's doing the measuring, the gap is between 18% and 20%.

2. Women are just paid less because they're less experienced. Experience alone can't explain it away. Consider the Hired survey we noted the other week: It found that the pay gap for women in technology actually grows as they gain more experience.

3. Okay, fine. Then they must be less educated. In reality, women are dominating when it comes to education, outpacing men when it comes to every type of advanced degree. Yet research shows that, in order to earn as much a man, we have to earn an entire additional degree.

4. So I guess women just don't ask for raises. It's true that, in general, women are less likely to ask for a pay bump than our male colleagues. However, there's evidence that we're also less likely to get one—even when we do make the ask. 

5. Maybe women just pick the wrong type of jobs. Sure, job type and industry is a factor—though it would be naive to think that there are no systematic issues in play when it comes to what fields women end up in. Still, even when you factor in job type, education, and experience, there remains about 33% of the gender wage that remains "unexplained." That's where bias—as well as factors like caretaking responsibilities—come in.

Finally—just a reminder. Today marks Equal Pay Day for the average American woman. It's an important day to observe, but let's not lose track of the fact that Black Women's Equal Pay Day isn't until August 20, and Latinas must wait until November 1.  Fortune


Gender gap warrior. Natasha Lamb, managing partner at wealth management firm Arjuna Capital, has been recognized for her work as an activist investor in getting major corporations (think Google, Apple, Starbucks) to analyze and close their gender pay gaps. She talked to me about how she fights—and wins—those battles.  Fortune

Let's start an Equal Pay party. A new survey conducted by Vanity Fair's the Hive, theSkimm, and SurveyMonkey reveals that beliefs about equal pay are divided along political party lines: 89% of Democratic and Democrat-leaning female millennials say significant obstacles in the workplace exist for women, while only 60% of Republican and Republican-leaning millennial women say the same. Vanity Fair

 Doing it right. It's not all bad! This Fortune story highlights a number of companies—including Salesforce, Intel and Adobe—that have recently reached full pay parity for women and underrepresented minorities in the U.S. Fortune

 Time to rethink the life plan. A working paper published by the Census Bureau reveals an interesting twist to the idea that having children hurts women's pay. NYT's Claire Cain Miller explains: "When women have their first child between age 25 and 35, their pay never recovers, relative to that of their husbands. Yet women who have their first baby either before 25 or after 35—before their careers get started or once they’re established—eventually close the pay gap with their husbands." New York Times

MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Rachael Horwitz is joining Coinbase as its first vice president of communications. RightNOW has hired Bettina Inclán as executive director.


 Duckworth (literally) delivers. Illinois Sen.Tammy Duckworth made history yesterday, becoming the first Senator to give birth while in office. The military veteran isn't new to blazing trails: She's also the first disabled woman and second Asian-American woman (after Hawaii's Mazie Hirono) to be elected to the chamber. Fortune

Emailgate never ends. Speaking on the Today show yesterday, former U.S. attorney general Loretta Lynch said former FBI director James Comey gave her no indication that he was bothered by her handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server during the 2016 presidential election. Comey has said that her handling of the matter gave him a "queasy feeling." Confused (or annoyed) that emailgate is back in the headlines? You can thank Comey for writing a book about the affair, which is due on shelves next week. CNN

Avenging with an app. Nonprofit GenderAvenger has introduced an app called GA Tally that allows audience members to blow the whistle on all-male panels. "Users enter basic information—like the gender breakdown of a panel or number of minutes of airtime given to men vs. women during a group discussion—and the app turns the information into a simple graphic that can be shared (along with any appropriate hashtag) on social media."  Fortune

 Consent is complicated. Times columnist Maureen Dowd and former Cosmopolitan editor (and current chief content officer of Hearst) Joanna Coles discuss why "a woman would go home with a man, decide she’s not attracted to him but have sex with him anyway." (A recent much-discussed example is the woman who described her date-gone-awry with Aziz Ansari.) “The fear is that dating apps make women interchangeable," Coles says. She also blames online porn: "There’s a new sense in which young women feel that they are now in competition with porn, and if they don’t put out, it’s easy for the guy to go home, log in to Pornhub and get what he needs there." New York Times

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She didn’t think her story mattered.
Jennifer Palmieri, the communications director on Hillary Clinton’s campaign, speaking about HRC's reluctance to talk about her life story during the 2016 election.