© National Committee
on Pay Equity
Pay Equity
What People Are Saying About Fair Pay

 "...Equal pay is by no means just a women's issue -- it's a family issue.... And in this economy, when so many folks are already working harder for less and struggling to get by, the last thing they can afford is losing part of each month's paycheck to simple and plain discrimination.... Ultimately, equal pay isn't just an economic issue for millions of Americans and their families, it's a question of who we are -- and whether we're truly living up to our fundamental ideals; whether we'll do our part, as generations before us, to ensure those words put on paper some 200 years ago really mean something -- to breathe new life into them with a more enlightened understanding that is appropriate for our time...."
President Barack Obama, on signing the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act into law, January 27, 2009


“The world today is vastly different than it was in 1983, but sadly, one thing that has remained the same is the pay gap between men and women. After accounting for so many external factors, it seems that still, at the root of it all, men get an inherent annual bonus just for being men. If this continues, the only guarantees in life will be death, taxes and the glass ceiling.”
Rep. Carolyn Maloney (NY-14), who, along with Rep. John Dingell, released results of new GAO report on women's earnings, Nov. 20, 2003

  “The pay gap is real, it is persistent and it is costing hardworking families thousands of dollars annually. This is not just a women's issue--it's a family issue. The price of a family should not be a woman's career.”
Rep. John Dingell (MI-15), who, along with Rep. Carolyn Maloney, released results of new GAO report on women's earnings, Nov. 20, 2003

“Discrimination is still a reality, even when it takes different forms. Instead of Jim Crow, there is racial redlining and profiling. Instead of ‘separate but equal,’ there is separate and forgotten. Strong civil rights enforcement will be a cornerstone of my administration.”
Former Governor George Bush, NAACP Annual Convention, Baltimore, July 10, 2000


“Some say that market forces will take care of the wage gap. If we had relied on market forces, we would have never passed the Civil Rights Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, or the Americans with Disabilities Act.”
U.S. Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), May 11, 2000


“Discrimination is against the interests of business...Yet business people often practice it. In the end, the costs are higher, less real output is produced, and the nation's wealth accumulation is slowed.”
Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan, in a speech to the National Community Reinvestment Coalition, Washington, D.C.
The Boston Globe, March 23, 2000


“The folks at Wimbledon recently rejected a request to give female players the same amount that the male players get...the women are carrying the promotional load and bringing fans through the turnstiles. They should be paid accordingly.”
John McEnroe, New York Times, June 6, 1999.

  “Countries rarely have conditions like this. If we can't use this moment to deal with these long-term challenges, including the equal pay challenge, when will we ever get around to it?”
President William Jefferson Clinton, remarking on the nation's low unemployment and strong economy. Equal Pay Roundtable, April 7, 1999.

“Is it acceptable then for women to leave at 1:48 on Thursday afternoon because that's three-quarters of a work week?”
National Business and Professional Women/USA President Susan Dailey, on the fact that women, on average, earn three-quarters of what men earn. April 8, 1999 (Equal Pay Day)


“I have always believed that contemporary gender discrimination within universities is part reality and part perception. True, but now I understand that reality is by far the greater of the balance.”
Charles M. Vest, President of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), upon the release of a study documenting a pattern of gender discrimination at the School of Science.
New York Times, March 23, 1999


“Discrimination has no place in the workplace...The settlement reflects our commitment to enforce equal employment opportunity in the workplace and ensure that employees of federal contractors are paid in a fair and equitable manner.”
Department of Labor (DOL) Secretary Alexis Herman, commenting on a settlement in which Corestates Financial Corp. agreed to pay $1.5 million in back wages and salary adjustments to minority and female workers. A routine compliance review of the company's corporate-management practices conducted by the DOL found that the workers were paid less than comparable white males. According to Secretary Herman, about 73% of the corporate-management reviews result in the finding of some type of employment discrimination.
The Wall Street Journal, April 20, 1998


“Older male bosses at my company have said that women should not be paid as much as men because women have the option of marrying rich.”
A respondent to Glamour Magazine's survey on whether affirmative action programs are necessary for women, 1998