Bozeman Businesses Mark Equal Pay Day - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

Bozeman Businesses Mark Equal Pay Day

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BOZEMAN -

Tuesday is Equal Pay Day, encouraging employers to close the gender wage gap across the country.

President Barack Obama also signed two new executive actions commemorating the day.

Women working at the White House are making about $9,000 less than their male co-workers according to the American Enterprise Institute.

American women earn about 77 percent of what men make doing the same job according the U.S. Census Bureau.

It would take women from January first 2013 to April 8, 2014 to earn just as much as their male co-workers did in 2013.

In Montana, it would take women even longer since women make 67 percent of what men do.

"Think about that. A woman's got to work three more months in order to get what a man got because she's paid less. That's not fair," said Obama. "That's like adding an extra six miles to a marathon, it's not right."

President Obama signed two executive orders Tuesday making it easier for women to find out if they are being paid fairly compared to their co-workers.

One order bans federal contractors from retaliating against employees who talk about their pay.

The other requires federal contractors to submit data summaries broken down by sex and race to the department of labor.

Tuesday, the Leaf and Bean in Bozeman was offering discounts to just women to make up for the wage gap.

"To represent that 23 percent wage gap, we are offering a 23 percent discount to all women who come in today and it is across the board so for lattes, a scarf," said Kate Wiggins, Leaf and Bean Owner.

Across the street at Alara Jewelry, women have been getting the discount on Equal Pay Day for eight years.

"I'm a woman, my entire staff is female as well, so women's issues are something we bump up against a little more than other people do," said Babs Noelle, Alara Jewelry owner.

In Montana, if women were paid just as much as men, the National Partnership for Women and Families said they could buy groceries for about another year and a half.

Noelle said she makes sure her employees could do that.

"I try to make sure as an owner, that I am definitely paying people well that work for me," said Noelle.

Governor Steve Bullock created the Equal Pay for Equal Work Task Force last year to address the issue in Montana.

The first summit was held in Bozeman just last week.

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