Pay Equality Day 2019: Where do you fall in the Gender Wage Gap?
On April 02, Equal Pay Day was created to demonstrate that women must work four extra months to get what their male, white (non-Hispanic) colleagues earned the previous year. Think of it as the “timetable” equivalent of earning 80 cents on the dollar. However, there’s a major flaw to that date: It ignores the fact that gender wage gaps widen depending on the ethnicity of the women. This blog will demonstrate how Wage Equality is not equal among all women.
Note: All Equal Pay data is based on recent U.S Census data on median earnings for year-round, full-time workers.
Gender Wage Gaps By Demographic
As you can see in the USA map below, gender wage gaps vary per state. In Louisiana, for instance, the gender wage gap is 31.2% — the largest pay gap in the nation.
Are you curious about how Equal Pay data changes based on different ethnicities or skin color? Here’s a list of USA workers and their pay compared to white, non-Hispanic Men.
Equal Pay Day Data
Asian-American Women: $.85 (cents) on the dollar - March 5, 2019*
White Women: April 19, 2019-- $.77 (cents) - April 19, 2019
African-American/Black Women: $.61 (cents) - August 22, 2019
Native American Women: $.58 (cents) - September 23, 2019
Latinas: $.53 (cents) - November 20, 2019
*Please note that Equal Pay data for female Asian-Americans vary greatly by ethnicity. Here are more details on that.
According to Wage Gap data from the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC), certain sub-groups of Asian women earn significantly less than men, particularly other Asian men.
Wage Gaps Within Subgroups
When comparing equal work, these women make significantly less than non-Hispanic white men.
Burmese Women average 44%
Hmong and Cambodian make roughly 55%
Pakistani, Sri Lankan, Indonesian, Thai, Bangladeshi, Hawaiian, Vietnamese, and Laotian women - less than 80 cents per dollar
Pacific Islander women in general - 60 cents on the dollar
Fijian women earn the lowest - only 45% of a white male’s wage
Image: U.S. Census Bureau via AAUW
A few subgroups of Asian women typically make more than white, non-Hispanic men. These are Malaysian, Indian, and Taiwanese women, who were paid $25,000, $10,000, and $5,000 more for year-round, full-time work. However, overall, Asian women make less than other Asian men.
Here’s a comparison between female and male Asian subgroups:
Compared to Indian men, Indian women make just 76 cents on the dollar
Compared to Taiwanese men, Taiwanese women are paid just 80 cents
Compared to Chinese men, Chinese women make 89 cents*
Note: Chinese women are typically paid equally as white, non-Hispanic men.
Pay Does Not Reflect Productivity
A common misconception is: “Perhaps women get paid less due to less productivity.” Data proves this argument to be completely invalid.
In fact, a Census Bureau report in 2017 looked at earnings from 2000-2017 and found that women were more productive than men, yet not compensated for this.
The figure below from the Economic Policy Institute illustrates productivity growth for black and white, male and female full-time workers between 2000 and 2017.
Source: EPI analysis of Current Population Survey Annual Social and Economic Supplement Historical Income Tables (Table P-38) and data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) and the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). See technical appendix of Understanding the Historic Divergence Between Productivity and a Typical Worker's Pay.
Productivity growth is the growth of output of goods and services produced in an average hour of work. As you can see in the chart above, productivity grew nearly 23 percent over this period. Yet women saw their average wage grow less than half as fast.
It’s also notable, according to the same report, that black women were paid the lowest when compared to black men and white women.
Source: Economic Policy Institute
In short, there has been substantial overall economic growth in America since 2000, and a growing economy has the potential to increase wages and improve living standards across the board. However, this data proves that most American women are still underpaid. But what about the rest of the world? Read on for information on wage disparity across the globe.
World Wide Gender Wage Gaps
Women’s rights are the fundamental human rights that were enshrined by the United Nations for every human being on the planet nearly 70 years ago. These rights include the right to live free from violence, slavery, and discrimination; to be educated; to own property; to vote; to earn a fair and equal wage.
Yet, in many countries, women still don’t get equal pay for the same jobs as their male colleagues. In fact, while equality in education is improving, North America’s pay equality is actually worsening, as shown in the chart below.
Despite the fact that roughly 50% of the world’s population are women, only six countries offer equal pay, regardless of gender: Belgium, Denmark, France, Latvia, Luxembourg, and Sweden. While this progress is something to celebrate, we have so much further to go.
The Global Fund for Women works hard to bring economic justice, health and sexual rights, and freedom from violence to women everywhere. We’re proud to share the work they do with our customers. Together, we can help make the world better for women and their families.
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