Equal Pay Day was started to raise awareness about the gender wage gap. But research shows race also plays an outsized role in earnings.
Today, March 15 is Equal Pay Day–a day to illustrate how far into a year women must work to earn what men made by Dec. 31 of the previous year. As stark as this picture is, the gender wage gap’s bigger picture is even more unjust.
US Census data shows that the average working white woman earns 83%of what the average working white man makes. She would catch up to his 2021 salary by today, March 15.
But for women of color, equal pay days push even further into the year. And this was worsened by the inequitable effects of the COVID-19 global pandemic over the last two years. Industries dominated by women – particularly service, medical and hospitality jobs – saw severe losses and constrictions.
- Asian-American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Women’s Equal Pay Day is May 3. Asian-American and Pacific Islander women are paid 75 cents for every dollar paid to white men.
- Black women are paid 58 cents for every dollar paid to white men, so Black Women’s Equal Pay Day is Sept. 21.
- Native and Indigenous women earn 50 cents for every dollar paid to white men, so Native Women ’s Equal Pay Day is November 30.
- Latinas are paid 49 cents for every dollar paid to white men, pushing Latina’s Equal Pay Day to December 8.