National Partnership Shines Spotlight on White Supremacy and Sexism as True Drivers of the Gender Wage Gap

Women’s Organization Releases Wage Gap Analysis Ahead of March 31st Equal Pay Day

Equal Pay Day marks the date when women overall are finally paid what men were paid the previous year. Each year, the National Partnership for Women & Families releases a new analysis of the gender wage gap in advance of Equal Pay Day, including a new state-by-state analysis. This year, in addition to breaking down the wage gap, the National Partnership is also shining a spotlight on the meaning behind the numbers and their impact on women and their families with a new blog, “What’s the Wage Gap Really About?” This resource is intended to help center the conversation on the underlying causes of the wage gap. In this analysis, the National Partnership highlights how the gaps women face stem from white supremacy and sexism in the United States and how our country — historically and in the present day — systematically devalues women of color and their labor.

“Many people try to explain away the wage gap as a result of choices women make or harmless happenstance, but as we peel back the contributing factors we see a culture that has disempowered women for centuries,” said National Partnership President Debra L. Ness. “We have perpetuated race and gender discrimination by enabling pervasive workplace harassment and condoning job segregation. We have tolerated a culture that doesn’t require policies that support family caregiving or fair treatment of pregnant workers. We have failed to acknowledge that the great American economy, built on enslavement of Africans and their descendants and the genocide of Native peoples, is still steeped in gendered and racial privilege. Even as the #MeToo movement shines its light on the egregious extent of harassment and the way we still silence survivors, we see a Supreme Court poised to strip us of our freedom and autonomy. Even as we confront the national emergency brought on by pandemic, we carve women of color who are the majority of farmworkers and domestic workers out of the most basic labor protections that are needed to prevent devastating health and economic harm. These are the shameful truths that drive the wage gap.”

In its analysis of the wage gap, the National Partnership is highlighting that the nation’s persistent gender wage gap is the result of these factors and the harm is greatest for women of color.

According to the analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data, conducted by the National Partnership and released in advance of Equal Pay Day on March 31, nationally, Latinas are typically paid 54 cents, Native women 57 cents and Black women 62 cents to every dollar paid to white, non-Hispanic men. Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) women are paid 90 cents for every dollar paid to white, non-Hispanic men, and the gaps are even larger for many AAPI women depending on their ethnic and national backgrounds and immigration status.

Women overall are paid 82 cents to every dollar paid to men. The wage gap for mothers — who are breadwinners in half of families with children under 18 — is 69 cents compared to every dollar paid to fathers.

The National Partnership's new study concludes that women employed full time, year-round in the United States will lose more than $900 billion to the wage gap this year. There is a gender-based wage gap in every single state and the District of Columbia, as well as in the vast majority of the country’s congressional districts, according to the National Partnership study. The cents-on-the-dollar gap is largest in Louisiana, followed closely by Wyoming, West Virginia and Alabama — and smallest in California, New York and the District of Columbia. The study also quantifies the wage gap’s detrimental effects on women's spending power in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

To address the gender wage gap, the National Partnership is urging lawmakers to raise the federal minimum wage and eliminate the sub-minimum wage for workers who rely on tips, and workers with disabilities; pass legislation to end sexual harassment and improve pregnancy discrimination laws. The organization is also calling on Congress to pass both emergency and permanent national paid family and medical leave and paid sick days in light of the coronavirus crisis; and to pass predictable schedules legislation; and increase access to high-quality, reproductive health care.

State-by state findings from the National Partnership's new wage gap analysis are available at NationalPartnership.org/gap.

About the National Partnership

The National Partnership for Women & Families is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy group dedicated to promoting fairness in the workplace, reproductive health and rights, access to quality, affordable health care and policies that help all people meet the dual demands of work and family. More information is available at NationalPartnership.org.

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