What is Equal Pay Day?

What is Equal Pay Day?

March 24, 2021
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Today, March 24, 2021, is Equal Pay Day.

Equal Pay Day is the symbolic day dedicated to raising awareness of the gender pay gap. In the United States, this date symbolizes 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 experience or job type.

This year’s Equal Pay Day is especially important, as the pandemic may be sending women in reverse when it comes to gender equality. We know that women have left the workforce at a rate up to 4 times higher than men during the pandemic. Black women and women of color are leaving at even higher rates. 

The fact that the majority of the caregiving responsibilities continue to fall on the woman's shoulders, is a huge factor underlying women being pushed out of the workplace. In addition, women and people of color make up the majority of the frontline workers.

Women, on average, make .82 cents for every dollar that a white, non-Hispanic man makes. However, the wage gap widens based on race and parental status. Many women need to work even longer to catch up to men’s earnings.

According to the The National Women's Law Center, for every dollar that a white man makes:
  • Asian American and Pacific Islander women make .85 cents 
  • White women make .79 cents
  • Mothers are paid .70 cents for every dollar paid to fathers
  • Black women are paid .63 cents
  • Native American women are paid .60 cents
  • Latina women are paid .55 cents

In 2021, income inequality is still a very important topic. At the rate we’re going, it will take more than 250 years to close the wage gap, according to the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report. This is not only a social issue, but also an economic issue: Closing the wage gap could add $2.1 trillion to the U.S. economy, according to a McKinsey Global Institute Report.

Women have consistently proven over time, that they are more than able to do any job that a man can do; as good, if not better. Equal Pay Day is a reminder that despite some progress, in terms of educational and workplace opportunities, the wage gap persists. Women still have along way to go until there is economic equality. Don't expect women to stop fighting.

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