The wage gap in America between men and women is real. In some states, one’s race, ethnicity and gender can make a million dollar difference in one’s paycheck.
A report by the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC) that breaks down average pay by race, ethnicity and gender found that Latina women will make about $1 million less than their white male counterparts over a 40-year career. African-American women don’t fare much better, taking in about $877,000 less. By comparison, women on average make about $430,000 less.
“Women shouldn’t have to work nearly 51 years to make what a man makes in 40 years,” said Emily Martin, NWLC General Counsel and Vice President for Workplace Justice. “The wage gap hasn’t budged in nearly a decade, and as a result women are losing hundreds of thousands of dollars during their work years. And for many women of color, the cost of the lifetime wage gap will exceed a million dollars. We literally can’t afford to ignore this.”
As it stands, Latinas earn less than 55 cents for every dollar that white men make. That leads to some incredibly sized gaps in pay. In 22 states and the District of Columbia, Latinas trail white men in earnings over a career by more than $1 million. It’s worst in the nation’s capital, where the gap reaches a yawning $1.78 million.
African-American women also face their biggest pay deficit in Washington, D.C. -- $1.59 million. The pay gap reaches above $1 million in five other states as well. Black women only earn 60 cents for every dollar earned by white men.
None of this is fair, just or right. As it stands, a report released last year said U.S. men will likely continue to earn more than women here until 2058. That’s why elected officials need to step in to help solve the problem now.
It’s just one more thing to consider when workers go to the ballot box in November.