College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences Theses and Dissertations

Graduation Date


Document Type


Department/Program Conferring Degree

Women & Gender Studies


neoliberalism, intersectionality, Lilly Ledbetter, equal pay, women and work


Since the passage of the Equal Pay Act of 1963, the wage gap in the United States has only decreased by eighteen cents; signaling that the battle over fair pay for women has gone on for too long. I argue that the neoliberal rhetoric around equal pay has to change to an intersectional approach where women can make legal claims based on many experiences of discrimination. I use the Lilly Ledbetter Paycheck Fairness Act as a case study to examine the history of equal pay in the United States and to provide recommendations on the future of equal pay.