Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Working Towards Pay Equality

MWPC endorsed candidate Deborah Goldberg has just announced plans for a new committee on wage equality. In the press release Goldberg is quoted as having said, "Pay equity is not a partisan issue, nor solely a women's issue. It is a family issue, and it affects the economic health and well-being of our entire state". We couldn't have said it any better, Treasurer Goldberg! She has said the committee will focus on supporting government agencies and private businesses by providing the tools, strategies and best practices they will need in order to address wage inequality. 

What Goldberg is addressing in her new committee is an issue that deserves greater recognition than it has received thus far. Women are getting paid less than men for the exact same work. There are excuses and explanations for this left and right, but as long as the reality is ignored the wage gap will continue to exist. The unfortunate reality is all in the facts:
  • Women are paid 78 cents for every dollar that a man is paid.
  • For women of color, the statistics are even worse. African American women are paid 64 cents for every dollar that a white man is paid. The greatest disparity in pay is between Latina women and white men, where Latina women earn a mere 54 cents for every dollar a man makes. 
  • Women who get A's in college are paid the same as men who got C's.

The result over time is the hardest hitting fact of them all. For white women, the wage gap adds up to an average difference of $10,000 per year. Imagine what an additional $10,000 per year could do for working class families with children. For women of color who work full time, the money they are losing annually could pay for 118 weeks worth of food. For Latina women, with the money they are losing each year they could pay for 154 weeks worth of food or 5,743 gallons of gas to get to and from work. These disparities matter. The disparities are affecting children and families across America. The disparities are affecting the economic health of America. President Obama said it best, "When women succeed, America succeeds".

Facts and statistics from the following sources: