Wednesday is Equal Pay Day, a reminder of the ongoing income inequality between men and women.
According to an analysis of the US Census Bureau data by the National Women’s Law Center, women currently only earn 82 cents for every dollar made by men.
As a result, March 24 marks how far full-time workers will have to keep working in the New Year to achieve what their male counterparts typically only did the previous year, also known as the gender pay gap. In other words, a woman has to work almost 15 months to earn what a man makes in a year.
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Although the discrepancy hasn’t changed much in years, the coronavirus crisis closed the gap by about a cent.
This is because lower-paid women lost their jobs disproportionately in 2020, which led to an increase in the average wage, according to the salary comparison site PayScale.
Women are also heavily represented in professions that are particularly hard hit by Covid-19, including the health, education, food and service industries.
In addition, many women volunteered to take care of children who are now remotely attending school.
“We are now seeing a rate of labor force participation that is the lowest since 1988,” said Emily Martin, vice president of education and justice at work for the National Women’s Law Center.
“We lost a generation of advances there.”
“Gender inequalities in the workforce are all the worse today in the face of the coronavirus pandemic,” said Sarah Foster, an analyst at Bankrate.com.
“Women suffered a disproportionately high number of job losses during the recession and drop out of working life more quickly because jobs in the service sector dry up and childcare needs affect their ability to work.”
“These scars will likely take years to heal,” she added.
Over time, the inequality increases. Based on today’s pay gap, a woman who is just starting out will lose $ 406,280 over a 40-year career, according to an analysis by the National Women’s Law Center.
The wage gap is worsening significantly for black and Latin American women.
The lifetime wage gap for Latina women is more than $ 1.1 million, and losses for black women are close to $ 964,400, the nonprofit advocacy group found.
“When millions of women have lost their jobs in the past 12 months, gender and racial wage differentials have robbed them of a financial cushion to weather this crisis,” said Martin.