People Are Wearing Red for Equal Pay Day. Here’s Why

2 minute read

There’s a reason why your coworkers are wearing red on Tuesday — and it has to do with Equal Pay Day.

Employees advocating for an end to the gender wage gap are wearing red in honor of Equal Pay Day on Tuesday, April 10. For supporters, red symbolizes how women are “in the red with their salaries, compared to men’s,” according to Michele Leber, the chair of the National Committee on Pay Equity, which organizes Equal Pay Day each year.

From local libraries to national advocacy organizations, supporters of closing the gender wage gap encouraged employees to wear red on Equal Pay Day. The color has also been used in equal pay movements across the globe, with protesters in cities like Berlin and Toronto wearing red and holding red signs on Equal Pay Day in 2017. In honor of Equal Pay Day last year, Vogue produced a list of red ensembles — all of which were straight off the runway, but, nonetheless, still in the spirit of the movement.

The committee organizes Equal Pay Day to raise awareness about the gender wage gap that continues to persist throughout the United States — and at countries around the world. The most recent figures show women earn $0.80 on the dollar of their male colleagues, according to the Institute of Women’s Policy Research. That gap is more pronounced for black and hispanic women, who earn $0.63 and $0.54, respectively, on the dollar of their white male colleagues.

The day itself chosen for the event each year is also symbolic. Organizers from the National Committee on Pay Equity choose a Tuesday in April to mark Equal Pay Day each year “to represent how far into the next work week women must work to earn what men earned the previous week,” according to the committee’s website.

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