Each year, the National Committee on Pay Equity sets a date for “Equal Pay Day” to highlight the overall disparity between men and women who are full-time working adults in the United States. This year, March 24th, represents how far into the year the average woman must work in order to earn what the average man earns in the previous year, regardless of job or experience.
The inequities surrounding equal pay for women is undeniable. According to the US Census Data, women in the United States earn $0.82 in comparison to the average US man’s dollar; add on race and those inequities are magnified causing double pay penalties to be much more detrimental. In comparison, Asian-American women make $0.85, Black women make $0.63, Native women make $0.60, and Latinx women make $0.55 (Equal Pay Today).
Not only does it affect women individually, but according to the Status of Women Data if women in the United States received equal pay, poverty levels for working women would be reduced by 50%, supporting more workplace opportunities for women to pursue. Additionally, the U.S. economy would receive an estimated $447.6 billion back into its economy, in which this capital would ultimately come back to our communities. It would also allow achieving economic security and stability more attainable for women and their families.
Today, my goal is to not only spread awareness around the inequalities and inequities that women face as a result of unequal pay, but to also encourage and equip women to feel more confident in advocating for themselves in their workplace. With 12.3 million female-owned businesses in the United States, women founders and business owners can be the change we seek by doing our part to pay our employees equally and equitably. By modeling the mission, we help drive the change.
To learn more about the impact of the inequitable distribution of pay based on gender and race, read our Women’s Equal Pay Day Fast Fact Sheet here.