Renalia DuBose

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On Friday, January 29, 2016, President Barack Obama expanded a previous executive order by requiring the Department of Labor to collect wage data based on gender, race, and ethnicity from contractors with at least 100 employees doing business with the federal government. That previous executive order was the April 8, 2014 Executive Order 13665 entitled Non-Retaliation for Disclosure of Compensation Information and was designed to amend the September 24, 1965 Executive Order 11246 entitled Equal Employment Opportunity by President Lyndon Johnson. Executive Order 13665 was issued to require transparency concerning compensation among private entities doing business with the federal government and to prohibit discrimination against employees working for these entities when they inquire about compensation information. President Obama expanded Executive Order 13665 to combat the wage gap between men and women. While the gap has narrowed slightly over the last two years, the median annual wage for a woman working full-time at the beginning of 2016 is 79% of that of a man who works full-time. ...

In the post-Fourteenth Amendment United States, Americans struggled to understand the true meaning of the words "equal protection of the laws," and that struggle became apparent during the second half of the twentieth century when Americans pressed their expectation that the federal government would protect its citizens from racial, ethnic, and gender discrimination. In spite of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, the road to significant federal legislation addressing gender pay inequality did not come for almost a century. During the early decades of the twentieth century, women comprised less than 24% of the United States workforce; however, that number had increased to 37% of the civilian workforce by 1945 due to the shortage of male civilian workers caused by World War II. The dramatic effects of World War II cannot be overstated in that, between 1940 and 1945, the percentage of women in the workforce rose from 27% to 37%, and almost one-fourth of all married women worked outside the home.