DENVER, Colo. — Women in the United States make around 79 cents for every dollar made by men in the American workforce, according to Census data.
Activist groups named April 12 'Equal Pay Day’ to draw attention to the number of additional months women would need to work to keep up with male salaries from the previous calendar year.
The median full-time pay for women is $39,621 compared to $50,383, according to Census data from 2014.
"When men come in and talk to me, quite often they are absolutely prepared for the salary discussion,” said Kathie Barstnar, President and CEO of Whiting Management Resources, which has been in business for 20 years. "They have facts and figures, they’ve done research, they’ve done comparisons and they’re ready to ask for what they want.”
Barstnar says it is time to educate women about how to start difficult conversations about salaries.
In her opinion, the pay gap is a private sector issue, complicated by issues like personal or family decisions and government benefits.
There is one group of women bucking the trend. Jobs site “Hired” says young women in technology, sales and marketing with two years or less experience are making 7 percent more than their male counterparts.
“I think if you want to have the same amount of pay — show up, do your job, do it well, and earn your space,” said Colleen Anderson, a barista in Denver.
Anderson says she often makes more than her male co-workers because of tipping.
But, no matter what your opinion, Barstnar has some career advice for everyone.
"It’s okay to stand up for yourself,” she said. "It’s okay to go in there and say, you know what, I need this salary."
To see a state-by-state breakdown of the gender wage gap, click here.