'Incredibly vibrant' job market: Experts say you don't need to accept what you've been given this Equal Pay Day

Equal Pay Day is March 15 - the day the average American woman would need to work to make what the average American man made the previous year. Advocates say the pandemic may have made the gender pay gap even wider.
"The pay gap exists across all sectors, even in sectors where men and women have equal roles," said Janée Woods Weber, executive directors of Connecticut Women's Legal and Education Fund.
Women make on average 83 cents to the dollar for similar roles. Weber says for Black women that falls to 57 cents and for Latina women it is 48 cents. That means a long career to make what a white man can by age 60.
"Native women need to work until they're 95 years old. Latinas need to work until they're 103," said Weber.
"Average amount that is needed in retirement, we're looking at maybe $500,000 - but when we're looking at women, we may have only about $57,000 that is saved," said financial planner Victor Medina.
Medina says you don't need to accept what you're being given.
"This is an incredibly vibrant employment market, meaning there's jobs available," Medina said.
Advocates say when women are applying for jobs or negotiating for better pay it's important to be assertive and know your value.
"Men are certainly taught how to do that and are celebrated for doing so. Whereas when women do that and try to take the reins over, for example, negotiating for salary, we're often labeled as pushy," said Weber.
They say the federal government needs to step up on minimum wage and paid family leave.
"We have a very strong policy here in Connecticut. We need something that mirrors that at the national level. We also need to expand access to paid sick days for all workers," said Weber.
President Joe Biden is signing an executive order Tuesday that encourages the government to consider banning federal contractors from seeking information about job applicants' prior salary history. A new Labor Department directive is aimed at strengthening federal contractors' obligations to audit payrolls to help guard against pay disparities based on gender, race or ethnicity.