Wage Gaps Matter

With Equal Pay Day for African American women having passed on August 23, and Equal Pay Day for Latinas approaching on October 30th, the wage gap statistics are startling.

African American and Latina women work longer to earn the same wage as white males throughout the year. According to an article in the MissourianAfrican-American Women’s Equal Pay Day Highlights Wage Gap, black women must work an average of 600 days or 19.8 months to earn what non-Hispanic white males make in a year. According to a blog entry by the National Women’s Law Center, Latina women work 660 days or 22 months (or nearly two years) to even out the pay gap.
The scenario is even more dismal for aging women of color. Over the course of a forty-year career, women of color lose over $1,000,000 in compensation for equal work in some states and would have to “work 73 years to earn what non-Hispanic white men earn in 40 years.” Latina women aged 45-64 earn an average of 50 cents for every dollar white, non-Hispanic men earn, while Latina women aged 25-44 earn 60 cents and their younger counterparts aged 15-24 earn about 73 cents per white male dollar earned. As minority women progress through their child-bearing years, they earn less, save less and retire later due to the double burden of racism and sexism, according to calculations by the NWLC.
Equal Pay for Latinas, an employment fact sheet published in October, 2015 by the National Women’s Law Center, cites the Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey for data indicating that the wage gap for Latina women has closed by only 6 cents over the last four decades.

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