Today marks Black Women’s Equal Pay Day: the day symbolizing how far into the year a black woman must work in order to match what what a white man made from the previous year. That means that black women, on average, must work an additional SEVEN MONTHS in order to reach pay parity with white men. Often times, the discussion on the wage gap is exclusively focused on the gender disparities in pay. However, the intersection of gender AND race play a significant role in pay inequality, and we must address both the gender and racial disparities that hold back women of color from reaching their full economic potential.
While women make up nearly half of the state’s labor force, increasingly take on the role of breadwinners within their families, and earn greater rates of undergraduate and postsecondary educational attainment, they continue to face pay inequalities in the workplace – and the wage disparities are even larger for women of color.
In our latest briefing, we explore the real life impacts of the wage gap – particularly for women of color. Here’s a preview of what we found:
In Ohio, the gap is slightly larger than the national average with women typically earning just 75 cents for every dollar men make, totaling an annual wage gap of $12,686. And, again, the wage gap is even larger for women of color: In Ohio, Black women are paid 64 cents and Latina women are paid 61 cents for every dollar paid to white, non-Hispanic men.
Promoting wage equality is not only beneficial for individual women, but also has far-reaching implications for the economic stability of families and the economy as a whole. Women make up nearly half (48%) of Ohio’s workforce, and families are increasingly dependent upon the wages of women. In fact, in nearly two-thirds of households in Ohio, women are the sole, primary, or co-breadwinner. And mothers play a critical role in the economic stability of their families as they increasingly take on the role of breadwinner: 85 percent of Black mothers, 62 percent of Latina mothers, and 53 percent of White mothers are key family breadwinners.
Equal pay is crucially important to the financial security of all women and their families, and unfair wage disparities not only impact women’s paychecks now, but also have long-term consequences for women’s wealth attainment, investment, and retirement savings. Closing the wage gap is not an impossible challenge, but we need lawmakers, advocates, and business leaders to take action on pay equality to make that happen.
Read the full briefing here: Fact Sheet: Equal Pay and the Gender Wage Gap