Women May Be Closer To Earning Equal Pay Thanks To Obama's New Plan

63 million workers will be protected.

In an effort to ensure that women receive equal pay for equal work, President Obama will announce a new executive order to close the gender pay gap. The proposal will help the government crack down on discrimination in the workplace.

The new executive order will mandate that companies with 100 or more employees provide an annual report of what they pay their employees by race, gender, and ethnicity. Currently, only federal contractors are required to report their salaries for each gender. This new executive order will provide protections for 63 million workers.

The Department of Labor and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission will publish the finalized proposal in September.

"Too often, pay discrimination goes undetected because of a lack of accurate information about what people are paid," Jenny Yang, the chairwoman of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, told The New York Times. "We will be using the information that we're collecting as one piece of information that can inform our investigations."

According to the latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the average woman makes 79 cents for every dollar their male colleagues make, which is up two cents since Obama first took office. The pay gap is even wider for women of color.

Friday marked the seven-year anniversary of Obama signing the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which allowed workers to challenge discriminatory pay. It was Obama's first piece of legislation.

"This is an issue that's personal for President Obama who has said over and over again that there's no reason why his daughters should be paid less than anyone's sons for doing the same job," White House Senior Adviser Valerie Jarrett told reporters, according to TIME.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.

Obama convened a national task force to address the gender pay gap when he first took office and it's been an issue that he has fought for during his entire presidency.

"Equal pay for equal work, paid leave, raising the minimum wage," Obama said in his final State of the Union address. "All these things still matter to hardworking families; they are still the right thing to do; and I will not let up until they get done."

Cover image via Evan Vucci - Pool/Getty Images.