President Barack Obama timed a major announcement with Equal Pay Day, a public awareness event illustrating the gender gap in wages.
The president signed two executive orders and is pushing a new law all aimed at equal pay.
If the Paycheck Fairness Act is passed, Democrats say the legislation would close loopholes in the current Equal Pay Act.
The executive orders ban federal contractors from retaliating against employees who discuss their wages and require federal contractors to provide data on their employees so any discrepancies in pay can be found more easily.
In the past the president criticized government data indicating women get paid 23 cents less than their male counterparts.
"It's embarrassing and it's wrong," the president said.
That's why he is also pushing the Paycheck Fairness Act, so these new regulations will be applied to all employers and not just federal contractors.
USF student Adri Spoto called it a great step, but she can't believe it’s even necessary.
"You would think we would have full equality at this point,” she said.
Spoto is the president of the Feminist Student Alliance and has worked tirelessly to get signatures on a petition urging Sen. Bill Nelson to co-sponsor this bill.
"It is definitely bringing awareness that this is an issue," said Spoto.
Critics of the bill argue the Equal Pay Act passed in the 60s is enough.
The Paycheck Fairness Act will be presented Wednesday to senators.