FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Kristin Kepplinger (212-255-2572 or firstname.lastname@example.org)
ATLANTA — Tuesday, March 15, is Equal Pay Day, which spotlights the gender pay gap by marking the date that women must work into the next year to be paid what men were paid in the previous year. Leng Leng Chancey, the executive director of 9to5, National Association of Working Women, issued the following statement:
“As COVID restrictions begin to lift, the women’s soccer team score a major equal pay settlement, and Women’s Equal Pay Day is observed more than a week earlier than the previous year – it may be tempting to assume all signs are pointing toward a long-awaited economic bounceback for working women. Unfortunately, the truth paints a much less rosy picture for wage equity in 2022 — especially for women of color and working mothers.
“For women of color and working mothers, who already faced even wider wage disparities than women as a whole, the wage gap has actually grown worse in the last year. In order to be paid the same amount that a white man was paid for doing the same job the previous year, AAPI women, mothers, Black women, Native women and Latinas now have to work even further into the new year than years prior.
“To make as much as white men earned in 12 months women in 2021, women, on average had to work 15 months. Black women had to work 21 months in comparison, Latinas 24 months, Native women work 23 months and AAPI women work 17 months. This does not account for the even larger disparities faced by women from different nationalities, disabled women, immigrant women, and other intersecting identities.
“Millions of women were pushed out of the labor force in the wake of the pandemic and the very gendered and racist impact of the economic crisis is still being felt in the slow and uneven financial recovery. So while white women may have fared slightly better over the last year in comparison to 2020, women of color have endured widening of the already too large gaps in pay between what they make in comparison to white men.
“It’s no coincidence that those women who hold multiple marginalized identities are the same women who were hit hardest by the economic downtown and whose labor continues to be the worst exploited by inequitable systems.
“Simply put: wage disparities don’t happen in a vacuum. Raising wages alone will not address problematic workplace policies and societal power structures that create and perpetuate the inequalities many working women face. Paid leave and access to affordable child care also are essential to support working families and families.
“We need policies that address both pay discrimination and the underlying factors that contribute to economic insecurity, including systemic inequities, barriers and oppression experienced along race, class and gender lines. We need bold legislative solutions that support all women and working families — especially communities of color.”
9to5, National Association of Working Women is a national organization on the frontlines working for economic security for all women — particularly women of color. The organization has a national network of advocates and offices in Colorado, Georgia and Wisconsin.