BLOG: Equal Pay Day - History Always in the Making in Los Angeles


By Amanda Daflos, Director, Innovation Team and Gender Equity Team

and, Helen Rigg, Policy Analyst, Gender Equity Team

A century ago, most women in the world were denied suffrage. Today, women are shaping the course of this country. But there are still battles to be won.

Today we observe Equal Pay Day, which represents the additional days a woman with a full-time job would have to work to earn the same amount that a man did in the previous year.

This year, Equal Pay Day falls in April --- meaning the average American woman has to work 15.5 months to earn the same amount a man does in just 12 months. In other words, women have to work seven days to equal the pay a man earns in five.

National statistics suggest that women still only earn 79 cents for every dollar men makes, a disparity that impacts women’s lifetime earnings and career growth.

As we recognize Equal Pay Day across the nation, in Los Angeles we also celebrate our City’s commitment to gender equity and inclusion. For the first time in our history, this City is taking an in-depth look at the status of women in Los Angeles and actively working to close the gender gap.

Gender equity is critical to our city’s economic and social health --- as studies show us, when women do well, their community does, too. Mayor Garcetti understands that the larger the talent pool, the greater the chances for success. As he often says, “Cutting out half of our population is simply bad for business. It’s bad for our economy. It’s bad for our city.”

Women in this country --- and in this city --- have fought to overcome discrimination and shatter glass ceilings. It is our responsibility to support their economic equity, and build a society where our daughters have the same opportunities as our sons.

We have taken big steps to close the gender gap in the last year, including:

  • Releasing the first ‘Status of Women and Girls’ report, which created a blueprint of policy opportunities to improve gender equity
  • Signing Executive Directive 11 , which created the Gender-Equity Coalition and ensured that City operations reflect and address the needs of all sexes and genders
  • Renewing Los Angeles’ commitment to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW)
  • Raising the minimum wage from $9 to $15/hour by 2020

Mayor Garcetti is committed to a city that hires, pays, and values all people equally --- and he’s building gender equity in his own administration. Two of our four Deputy Mayors are women.  50% of the City's more than 300 commissioners are women, and for the first time in L.A. history, women are represented on every city commission.

As women of Los Angeles, we are inspired and excited to be a part of a team that is impacting the lives of millions of women, and leading the way for cities across America. Let’s continue to work together to change the culture and build better lives for all Angelenos.