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Here’s How You Can Celebrate Women’s Equality Day on August 26

This is a moment to celebrate the importance of the women’s suffrage movement and the work to secure and expand equal rights today.

I was recently told a story by a friend of mine who is a hiring manager. She was recruiting for a senior position at her company, and her lead candidate was a woman who had been out of the workforce for some time. When the question of salary came up, the candidate stated her salary expectations: $55,000. The position had been budgeted at $105,000-$130,000. Luckily, my friend, who is also a woman, told this candidate to never say that number to another person ever again. This candidate went on to negotiate a fair salary for the position, got the job, and found huge success in her new role.

This happens all the time, and too often there isn’t an ally present to help. Stories like this show one small example of the multitude of reasons women’s pay equity is still an issue in this country.

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For every $1 men earn, women earn 83 cents (a gap that is even wider for women of color). Last year, according to the Grant Thornton Women in Business 2021 Report, the percentage of women in senior leadership roles was just 31%. Women make up 51% of the population but hold only 30% of statewide elected executive positions of any kind according to the Center for American Women and Politics. Hence the establishment of Women’s Equality Day.

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What is Women’s Equality Day?

Women’s Equality Day is a federally recognized observance that commemorates the 1920 certification of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, granting women the right to vote. The day offers a moment to evaluate the state of the equity of genders in the U.S., recognize and show appreciation for achievements made by women towards achieving equity (specifically the right to vote), and offers a moment to acknowledge the progress yet to be made.

When was Women’s Equality Day founded?

The idea of Women’s Equality Day was introduced by Rep. Bella Abzug (D., N.Y.) in 1971. On August 16, 1973, Congress passed the House Joint Resolutions 52, which established Women’s Equality Day, stating that “the President is authorized and requested to issue a proclamation annually in commemoration of that day in 1920, on which the women of America were first given the right to vote.”

SI Swimsuit and Women’s Equality

Last year SI Swimsuit launched a groundbreaking advertising mandate, Pay with Change, which celebrates companies who are creating change for women in the varied ways they need it. The only companies allowed to buy ad space in the SI Swimsuit Issue are the ones moving the needle. Learn more about that program here.

How can you celebrate Women’s Equality Day?

We recommend taking this day to applaud the resilient women in your own life that you see making a difference and continue advocating for the progress that still needs to be made. This could be anything from donating to an organization you support or showing an extra bit of kindness to the women in your life.

Take a look at some of the groundbreaking moments we’re proud of in SI Swimsuit history.