We still have a long way to address the wage gap in America’s workforce. The National Women’s Law Center analysis shows that women working full-time are paid eighty three cents on the dollar compared to men. It gets worse when you speak about women of color. Black women made sixty four cents on the dollar compared to White men, while Latina and Native American women made just fifty seven cents. Considering how high inflation is, this isn’t a minuscule difference.
The COVID-19 pandemic did not help matters regarding women’s employment numbers. Federal numbers show nearly 1.1 million women have left the workforce, and 1.8 million have lost jobs from February 2020 to January 2022. Five percent of Latinas and almost 6 percent of Black women were unemployed.
While the gap has made some improvement, more needs to be done. According to CNN, the White House will be announcing steps to close gender and racial pay disparities. President Biden will sign an executive order limiting federal contractors’ access to the previous pay history of applicants and employees when determining salaries.
President Biden spoke about how necessary these actions are in conjunction with Equal Pay Day.
“For over 25 years, Equal Pay Day has helped draw attention to gender-based pay disparities by highlighting how far into a new year a woman must work, on average, to earn what a man did in the previous year,” Biden said Monday in a proclamation.
“This year, Equal Pay Day falls on March 15, the earliest we have ever marked the occasion. The earlier that Equal Pay Day arrives, the closer our Nation has come to achieving pay fairness. But while we should celebrate the progress we have made, as I have said in the past, we should not be satisfied until Equal Pay Day is no longer necessary at all,” he added.
U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris will also host a virtual summit today to celebrate Equal Pay Day. Labor Secretary Marty Walsh and current and former United States women’s national soccer team members will join as well. U.S. women’s soccer just won $22 million in an equal pay lawsuit. The Paycheck Fairness Act, which would “strengthen the Equal Pay Act of 1963,” failed to pass the Senate on a 49-50 vote.