Gender Pay Disparity: Cheats All Women, Even Worse For Women Of Color

By Jack Tuckner

How much does being a woman cost over a lifetime? A whole bunch of money, and a lot more money if that woman is not white. The National Women’s Law Center released a report last Equal Pay Day showing how much the wage gap costs women over a lifetime.

The findings show the difference between women’s and men’s median annual earnings for full-time, year-round employees, multiplied by 40 years. We’re often reminded that women earn 79 cents for every dollar men earn, but the even bleaker news is that the gap is much worse for Latinas, black women and other women of color. Here are some of the NWLC’s most significant conclusions about the high costs of working while female.

Women overall lose out on more than $400,000 over the course of their careers, but most women of color are ripped off to the tune of more than double that amount.

Men out-earn women in all 50 states and in Washington D.C. For full-time, year-round employees nationally, women earn a median annual income of $39,621 compared to men’s $50,383, a yearly loss of $10,762. Over a 40-year career that adds up to a lifetime shortfall of $430,480. as compared to a man performing the same work.
Yet, most women of color will lose a lot more when compared to the earnings of white men, making that wage loss figure $883,040 for Native American women, $877,480 for black women and $1,007,080 for Latinas. That’s more than $1 million, Sister.

The gap is smaller for Asian-American women, whose lifetime wage difference compared to white men totals $365,440, a mere third of a million dollars, instead of an actual million dollar loss, such as Hispanic women suffer over the course of their careers. In fact, Latinas earn less than half of what white men earn in 12 of our United States.

Nearly half the states are fleecing Hispanic women by more than $1 million over the course of their careers.
There are 23 states where Latinas are losing out on more than $1 million during their careers when compared to white men. That figure is closer to $2 million in D.C. ($1,781,720), New Jersey ($1,685,120) and California ($1,616,520), according to the report. And it’s not much better for other women of color. The lifetime earning gap also exceeds $1 million for Native American women in 13 states, and black women in six.

Yet, gender pay disparity is illegal. Do you want your daughter, wife, mother or sister to get ripped off? Shouldn’t they get paid what they’re worth? In NY, employers may not prohibit employees from inquiring about, discussing or disclosing wage information, so if you suspect or learn that your employer is paying you less than they pay a man who’s performing equal work, it’s against the law. You must document that complaint in writing to your employer, and if they do not resolve this pay gap in your favor, than you should consult with a qualified employment lawyer in your area to determine the precise plan of action to take to protect yourself, your job and your income. You’re worth it.

(Image courtesy: Huff Post)