On Equal Pay Day, A Reminder That The Gap Is Far Greater For Women Of Color

The average woman made 80 cents for every dollar earned by a white man -- and the gap isn't shrinking.

Tuesday is Equal Pay Day, a reminder of the historic pay gap that stubbornly persists between men and women.

April 2 marks this year’s point when all women’s pay symbolically catches up to what their male counterparts earned in 2018. White women earned 23 percent less than white men, according to 2017 data from the American Association of University Women; by April 19, they will have symbolically worked enough to have covered that gap.

Overall, the average woman made 80 cents for every dollar earned by a white man.

The gap is far greater for women of color, the American Association of University Women data shows. Hispanic and Latina women earned 47 percent less than white men; black and African American women earned 39 percent less; American Indian and Alaska Natives earned 42 percent less; and Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders earned 32 percent less.

Asian women who worked full time, year round, earned 15 percent less than white male counterparts. The National Women’s Law Center notes the gap is substantially larger for some subgroups of Asian women.

Discrimination is a major contributor to the gap, but less-obvious factors also play a role, including occupational segregation in lower-paying industries, bias against mothers, access to education, age, racial bias and disability.

After decades of progress, the gap has stagnated since 2007, per the National Women’s Law Center. That translates into real annual median earnings losses worth $10,169 for white women, $23,653 for black women, $28,386 for Latinas, $24,443 for Native women, and $9,010 for Asian women.

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