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Democratic presidential candidate, former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton attends a roundtable discussion on pay equality in New York City April 9, 2016. (Photo by Eric Thayer/Getty Images)

Equal pay day

Hillary Clinton calls for wage transparency to fight the gender pay gap

April 12, 2016

During a roundtable discussion hosted by Glassdoor, democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton urged for greater transparency in the private sector to combat the gender pay gap. “There are already laws at the federal level and in many states that make the failure to provide equal pay illegal, but the problem is there is not enough transparency,” said Clinton, adding that the government is really in the dark regarding how big or small the pay gap may be within certain settings.

A recent Glassdoor survey analyzing more than a half-million salaries shows that women in the U.S. earn — on average — 76 cents for ever dollar that men earn. Robert Hohman, CEO and Co-founder of Glassdoor Inc., partly attributes the disparity to career sorting. “Women end up in careers that pay less or they end up across their career having less education than men on average,” explained Hohman during the discussion. “As we look back, while that’s explainable, it’s not justifiable,” he stated.

When data is adjusted to include variables such as age, experience, education, and industry, the gap  persists — even for workers with the same job title, employer and location — at 5.4 percent. Although a small percentage, that amounts to thousands lost over the course of a woman’s career. “There is still, after you take all that into account, a five to six percent gap which is unexplainable and which every way we slice looks like unintentional — and in rare cases — I believe intentional bias,” Hohman said.

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Some of those biases, as Lori Nishiura Mackenzie, Executive Director of Stanford’s Clayman Institute for Gender Research explained, range from women being held to a higher standard during performance reviews to something she referred to as “the motherhood penalty.” “When we see even on a resume that a women belongs to a parent-teacher association, we offer her less money, less likely to higher her, and view her as less confident,” said Mackenzie.

Clinton noted that the gender pay gap is even greater for African-American women and Latinas, who earn 60 and 55 cents on the dollar respectively. “We still have to be willing to address these implicit biases,” said Clinton. “The research is absolutely conclusive that people — men and women — carry different ideas in our brains about how to evaluate men’s and women’s work, so it’s the same with racial and ethnic disparities.”

According to The National Women’s Law Center, women lose over $400,000 during the course of their career because of the gender wage gap. For African-American women it’s closer to $900,000 and for Latinas, it’s over a million dollars.

Watch the full panel in the video above.