CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — According to the United States Census Bureau, March 14 is considered "Equal Pay Day."
This day was created by National Committee on Pay Equity (NCPE) as a public awareness of men's and women's wages.
Three months into the year, women are now making the same amount as men made in 2022. Full-time working women were still earning 83.7 percent compared to working males.
For every dollar, a man earned a woman, on average, would make 82 cents.
Kelly Curran dedicates her time to helping women gain financial freedom through her workout at the YWCA. She tells us that over a lifetime, a working woman loses out on $700,000 to $2 million in wage disparity.
"What could you do with two million dollars? A lot, and you don’t see that from month to month. You might not be aware of that discrepancy, but if you had two million dollars right now to do it, you can pay a lot of bills you can feed your family a lot of meals," Curran said.
Curran recommends women negotiate their salaries, have more open conversations with their bosses, and strengthen their communication skills to discuss any concerns with pay.
Progress has been made but other factors tend to get in the way.
"Women are incredibly strong. Dealing with the families and the mental load that we take on. To juggle our families and raising the kids and just being a woman, being a good wife and all that. Having that extra step or that extra push, you just don't have it to give," Curran added.
Daniel Bortholomay is the co-coordinator in Women, Gender and Sexuality studies at Texas A&M University Corpus Christi.
He said that the wage gap is most common in fields that are more male-dominated. He believes a push for policy change is needed.
That includes promoting paid maternity leave for all women and incentives for men to take time off. He believes workplaces should adopt a policy that promotes inclusivity and equality.
"Young girls in our society, if they're not seeing women being elected into office, if they're not seeing women CEOs, it might be difficult for these younger girls to envision a world where they can be in those positions someday," Bartholomay said.
The YWCA is hosting a Debt Elimination event Wednesday, March 15, at 12 p.m., to offer financial tips to women. It's a free event and everyone is welcome.