Document Type

Fact Sheet

Publication Date



Women continue to enter the workforce at record levels and laws on the state and federal levels prohibit gender discrimination in the workplace. Yet employment discrimination persists and women’s wages remain lower than men’s wages for comparable positions and occupations. With the 2005 publication of GETTING EVEN: Why Women Don’t Get Paid as Much as Men and What To Do About It by Economist and former Massachusetts Lieutenant Governor Evelyn Murphy, the issue of wage equity is finally receiving the widespread and sustained attention it deserves.

This resource guide provides an overview of the issues related to the wage gap between men and women (the “horizontal wage gap”) and between women earning top salaries and women engaged in low-wage work (the “vertical wage gap”). In addition, this guide summarizes federal and state pay equity legislation and offers action opportunities for advocates to work to decrease the wage gap and ensure gender equity in all employment sectors and workplaces.


This Pay Equity Resource Guide was prepared for the Center for Women in Politics & Public Policy’s Women, Wages and Work Policy Conference held on June 9, 2008 at the University of Massachusetts Boston. The conference was sponsored by the Boston Women’s Commission, Massachusetts Coalition for Women’s Wage Equality, Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women, Service Employees International Union (SEIU Local 615), YWCA of Greater Boston, and Crittenton Women’s Union. The information and resources included in this guide are intended to empower women to take an active role in impacting pay equity policies and closing their own wage gap. Funds from the University of Massachusetts Boston Public Service Grant program were used to produce this guide.

Community Engaged/Serving

Part of the UMass Boston Community-Engaged Teaching, Research, and Service Series.



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