The bad news: the gap is still 21 cents, meaning that women now earn 79 cents for every dollar a man earns. That amounts to a one-penny improvement since 2013, and no statistically significant improvement since 2007.
So while we’d like to hold at least a little party (nothing fancy!—along the lines of, say, a modest birthday dinner with a few close friends) to acknowledge the wage gap hitting a record low, even that may not be warranted. According to Heidi Hartmann, president of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, “There’s really no reason to celebrate…It’s just not a picture of strong and rapid improvement in the wage gap.” Researchers also think that the slightly narrowed gap is more a result of men’s wages stagnating than it is an indicator that gender bias in earnings is diminishing.
Well, rats. We’ll just put away that champagne for now.
If you want to help jump-start real progress on the wage gap again, here are five things you can do today for equal pay. Let’s get to work so that this time next year, we have real cause to celebrate how far we’ve come.