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Girls Just Wanna Have Equal Pay: Obama to Boost Equal Pay Laws

In Cyndi Lauper’s most popular anthem (which you may be ashamed to admit gets stuck in your head every time you hear it), she sings: “When the working day is done, oh girls they wanna have fun.” Well actually Cyndi, fun can be a bit overrated. What girls REALLY want when the working day is done … is fair and equal wages, amiright?!

On average, U.S. women who work full-time year-round are still paid only 77 cents for every dollar paid to their male counterparts.

On Tuesday President Obama aims to change that by signing two new executive orders designed to strengthen existing equal pay laws and seeking to bring about more wage transparency for federal contractors.

Today, April 8, has been dubbed “Equal Pay Day.” Follow the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #equalpayday2014.

President Obama aims to overhaul overtime pay.The first will enable the White House to do away with “gag rules,” which will prevent federal contractors from firing, demoting or retaliating against employees who wish to openly discuss their compensation. The other will require federal contractors to provide compensation data that includes a breakdown by gender and race.

Considering some women are paid less than their male counterparts but don’t know it because they’re unaware of how much their co-workers earn, these actions will enable women to discover whether fair pay laws are being violated.

A White House official said: “If women do not even know that they are underpaid, they cannot take steps to remedy the pay gap. For example, Lilly Ledbetter was paid less than her male co-workers for decades without realizing it until someone took a risk and slipped her an anonymous note.”

Ultimately, the president wants Congress to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act, which will broaden the scope of these laws to ALL employers, not just federal contractors.

Tell us in the comments below what you think about this issue of the still-present gender wage gap. Do you think this is a step in the right direction to women having equal wages?

Learn about CareerBuilder’s own Women’s Alliance movement, and follow our journey by checking out the hashtag #careerbuildHER.

Deanna Hartley

About Deanna Hartley

Deanna Hartley is a senior copywriter and community manager on the creative services team at CareerBuilder, where she writes about issues that are top of mind for employers and recruiters – including talent acquisition, employee engagement and retention. An avid social media user, Deanna is the face behind @CBforEmployers on Twitter as well as CBforEmployers’ Facebook and Instagram pages, so it’s easy to stay connected with her. Prior to joining CareerBuilder, Deanna was a senior editor for the Human Capital Media Group, publishers of Talent Management, Chief Learning Officer, Diversity Executive and Workforce Management magazines. Deanna holds a master’s degree from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. She loves caffeine, social media, pop culture and dogs – though not necessarily in that order.

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