The U.S. Equal Pay Act was passed half a century ago but in 2014 women working full time in the United States were typically paid 79 cents for every dollar a man earned for equal work, according to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR).
Although the pay gap has narrowed from 1960 when women earned about 60 cents for every dollar a man made, the IWPR calculates that if change continues at the same pace women will not reach pay parity until 2059.
Like Lawrence, many women aren’t aware of what their male counterparts earn because salary is a taboo topic. About half of workers questioned in a 2014 IWPR poll said discussing salary information is discouraged or prohibited and could even lead to punishment.