The words we use to talk about the gender pay gap

You’ve heard of the gender wage gap: The fact that women, on average, earn about 80 cents for every dollar a man makes (the gap is even bigger for women of color).

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But you may have come across some other terms related to the pay gap. What do all the extra words mean when we talk about women in the workplace?

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Pay disparity

A term commonly used when referring to a difference in pay between men and women for comparable roles.

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Remember when actress Michelle Williams earned less than 1% of Mark Wahlberg’s reshoot fee for the movie “All the Money in the World”?

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Pay secrecy

This practice discourages or forbids talking about pay or discussing compensation with colleagues.

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That means women (and men) have few avenues to learn how their pay compares with other people in their workplaces.

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Pay transparency

Generally, this means companies thinking about how to make it easier for people to learn about pay in their workplaces as a way to avoid pay discrimination — or uncover it, according to Maya Raghu, direct of workplace equality and senior counsel at the National Women’s Law Center.

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Some companies even make the salaries of everyone from vice presidents to entry-level employees readily available.

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Pay equity

This is the easiest concept of all to understand:

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“Pay equity” is when male and female employees receive equal pay for equal work.

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