White House Takes Important Steps in Closing the Wage Gap

Statement of Jocelyn C. Frye, President, National Partnership for Women & Families

“We applaud the actions taken by the Biden-Harris Administration to combat practices that can be used to perpetuate pay discrimination. Women, especially women of color, continue to experience a significant pay gap and this gap undermines their economic security and long-term financial stability.

“The history of racism and sexism in the American workplace, along with the unprecedented health and caregiving demands due to the pandemic, and employment losses and cutbacks in work hours pushed even more women out of work. This year’s data points to the biggest drops among Latina, Black and Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander women.

“For years, salary histories have been used when making hiring decisions and determining pay rates. This is yet another practice that has worked to keep women connected to their prior, often lower wages. As a result, even when women seek out new employment, a discriminatory prior wage can effectively follow them from job to job because their employer limits how much they can earn based on their prior salary. And that limits their earning potential over the course of their careers.

“It is critical to eliminate these types of practices to ensure that women of color, and indeed all women, earn fair wages for the jobs that they perform.

“As we acknowledge Equal Pay Day, all of us — advocates, women workers, and their families — are well aware that this is not a celebration, but instead it is a call to action for our leaders from the White House to the workplace to ensure the necessary policies and practices are put in place for women to succeed at work.”

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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