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Today is Equal Pay Day: the day that symbolizes how far into the year an average woman must work to earn what the average white man earned in the previous year. But that “average woman” doesn’t tell the whole story.

The greater injustice lies in the number of extra months (not days) that women of color need to work in order to make up the gap — especially transgender women of color. Transgender Americans face extreme employment discrimination and are about 4 times more likely than the general population to have a household income of under $10,000 a year.

 

Dollars and Cents That Don’t Make Sense

It’s been 54 years since the passage of the Equal Pay Act, which requires that men and women in the same workplace be given equal pay for equal work. Yet, when using national averages, women still make only 80¢ for every dollar a white man makes. What’s more, mothers are the primary or sole breadwinners in 40% of all families. For a woman who is the head of her household, the gender pay gap stands as a barrier to her achieving upward socioeconomic mobility.

 

Gender Pay Disparities for Black Women and Latinas Are Startlingly Wide

The gender pay gap has real-life consequences, especially for African-American, Latino, and Native American women. They deal with an even wider pay disparity and are more likely to support their families on one income.  

  • Latinas make 54¢ for every dollar a white man makes. That means they have to work an additional 10 months  — until Nov. 2 — to catch up to that average white guy’s earnings in the previous year.

  • Black women make 63¢ for every dollar a white man makes. That means they have to work an additional 8 months — until July 31 — to catch up to that average white guy’s earnings in the previous year.

  • American Indian and Alaska Native women make 58¢ for every dollar a white man makes. That means they have to work an additional 9 months — until September 25 — to catch up to that average white guy’s earnings in the previous year.

But the wage gap isn’t just about one year. It affects lifetimes. In all 50 states, women of color are disproportionately affected by the lifetime wage gap and experience greater challenges accessing basic necessities, including health care.

Based on today’s wage gap:

  • Black women would lose $877,480 over the course of a 40-year career

  • Latinas stand to lose $1,007,080 over the course of a 40-year career.

  • American Indian women stand to lose $883,040 over the course of a 40-year career.

 

Disaggregated Data

To see the full breakdown of women’s earnings compared to men’s by race and ethnicity, check out the chart below. It is based on data from AAUW.org/fairpay, including “The Simple Truth About the Gender Pay Gap.”

 

 

Women's earnings as a percentage of men's earnings within the same race/ethnicity

Women's earnings as a percentage of white men's earnings

Day of 2017 women must work through to earn what average white men earned last year

Hispanic or Latino/a

92%

54%

Nov. 2

American Indian and Alaska Native

87%

58%

Sept. 25 is Native American Women’s Equal Pay Day

Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander

84%

60%

Sept. 25 is Native American Women’s Equal Pay Day

African American

90%

63%

July 31

White (non-Hispanic)

76%

75%

April 25

Asian American

81%

85%

March 7

Look closely at the numbers above to see the intersection of race and gender.

 

Test Your Knowledge of the Pay Gap — Then Spread the Word

Is your blood boiling yet? We’re guessing the answer is “yes.”

But to really understand just how bad the problem is, you’ve got to take our gender pay gap quiz. The answers may shock you.

Remember: Closing the pay gap will only happen when people across the country are talking about this issue, and demanding better — so we're counting on people to help spread the word. So, once you've fact-checked yourself, share the quiz with your family and friends.

Tags: Equal Pay

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