Mind the Wage Gap: Women, Especially Women of Color, Still Earn Less than Men

T.he gender wage gaps may not be as wide as it used to be, but the cave between women and men who are compensated for the same job is still large. And it’s even wider for women with color.

Women currently make 82 cents for every dollar a man makes, according to the Center for American Progress. The National Women’s Law Center (NWLC) suggests that the result is an average Loss of $ 407,760 over a 40-year career.

Black women, meanwhile, made 63 cents for the dollar. Latinas made 55 cents, Indian and Alaskan women 60 cents. And women from Asia, America, and the Pacific Rim (AAPI) made a total of 85 cents for every dollar white men made. (That brings the 40-year shortfall for black women, Latin American women, and Native women to around $ 1 million.)

Those numbers come from 2019 census data, but the pandemic only made things worse. Women are over-represented in careers that have seen massive job losses in the past year – in areas such as restaurants, retail and hotels. According to the NWLC, approximately 93% of child minders, 66% of grocery store cashiers / sellers, 70% of waiters and waitresses, and 77% of clothing / shoe store cashiers / sellers are women. And many of the workers in these professions are women of color.

Front workers, who were so important during the pandemic, don’t see equal pay either. For example, the average median salary for a male nurse is $ 71,000 versus $ 65,000 for women, even though 88% of all registered nurses are women. That’s a shortfall of $ 500 per month.

“The impact of COVID-19 shows how many communities of women and families who depend on their income are bearing the brunt of long-standing gaps and underinvestment in our labor laws, economic and social infrastructure, and failed policy choices to meet women’s needs To put people of color and low and middle income families at the center, ”said Maya Raghu, director of workplace equality and senior counsel at NWLC in a blog post.

Some progress has been made in closing the pay gapIt was slow. In 1969 women earned only 58.9% of what men did. Ten years later, practically nothing had changed. Women took home only 59.7% of a man’s annual salary. By 1989 this number had risen to 66%, in 1999 to 72.2%, in 2009 to 77%. Nowadays it is up to 82%.

March 24th was the annual observance of Same paydayIn 1976, a public awareness event was started, symbolizing how far into the year women have to work to earn what men did the previous year. As part of this year’s observation, Rep. Carolyn Maloney, DN.Y. held a hearing examining the inequalities of women with colored faces and hearing witnesses. Among them was Megan Rapinoe, captain of the US women’s national soccer team, who said, “There is no level of status, achievement or power that protects you from the clutches of inequality. You cannot simply surpass inequality or be distinguished enough to discriminate to escape.” of any kind.”

Later that day at a Ceremony in the White House Speaking on Equal Pay Day, President Joe Biden campaigned to fight the pay gap, saying, “My government will fight for equal pay. It’s about justice. It’s about fairness. It’s about living up to our values ​​and who is we are as a nation. ” Equal pay makes us all stronger. “

However, don’t necessarily trust the next round of numbers, even if it looks like the gap is getting smaller. Because so many women have been forced out of the workplace this year, whether through downsizing or due to childcare commitments, experts say the data is likely to be skewed.

The NWLC says the loophole improved by 3 cents on the dollar based on quarterly numbers in 2020, but that reduction only came about because there was more women in the workforce a total of.

The views and opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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