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Full-time working women at U.S. companies earn about 79 cents for every dollar men earn, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. At Delta, there is virtually no pay gap: in administrative jobs women earn 98 percent of what men do, and there’s statistical parity among male and female frontline or “scale” employees.

Company leaders said the airline won’t be satisfied until that gap is reduced to zero for all employees.

“Delta’s overall pay parity between men and women is nearly perfect for all of 80,000 employees. Excluding scale employees, who truly are at 100 percent pay parity, we are at 98 percent,” said Joanne Smith, Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer. “Although this is well ahead of the national average, we won’t be satisfied until the gap is zero.”

The gender pay disparity has made headlines across the worlds of business, politics and sports.

President Obama made his latest push to advance equal pay in January, proposing a new rule requiring companies to report pay data broken down by gender, race and ethnicity. The topic has come up repeatedly during the presidential race. In March, five stars on the U.S. women’s national soccer team filed a wage-discrimination action against the U.S. Soccer Federation. And at the beginning of April, 100 Boston businesses announced their commitment to closing the gender wage gap.

The gender wage gap has far-reaching effects for women. Over a 40-year career, the gap costs women more than $430,000, according to a recent study by the National Women’s Law Center.

“Equal compensation between men and women is a major priority for Delta,” said Letty Ashworth, Delta’s Director – Global Diversity. “Delta’s long-term success is directly related to maintaining a diverse work environment, where our differences make us stronger and encourage us to challenge ourselves. Women are a huge part of that.”

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