By ONME Newswire
SACRAMENTO, CALIF.-- Based on Census data from 2022, the wage gap for Black women compared to non-Hispanic white men is 67 cents for full time, year-round workers and 64 cents for all workers (including part time) according to EqualPayToday.org.
Since our country’s founding, racism and sexism have shaped the structure of our economy, laws and policies. As a result, pay discrimination and occupational segregation (the segregation of women into low paid and undervalued jobs) have long inflicted harm upon Black women in the workforce. The resulting injustice affects individuals on a personal level and reverberates through their children, families, communities, and our economy.
Changing this is intricately tied to fair and equitable wages, better jobs, and equal opportunities. The need for both equal pay and higher pay is urgent. This underscores the pressing importance of raising awareness about the solutions to these issues for Black Women's Equal Pay Day.
California First Partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom released a video about the major discrepancy of pay equity on Black Women’s Equal Pay Day, July 27. The video included Los Angeles County Supervisor Holly J. Mitchell, Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass, and PolicyLink Founder in Residence, Angela Glover Blackwell. The video highlights the critical importance of closing the wage gap.
“Black women live at the intersection of racial and gender discrimination leaving them doubly impacted by the wage gap,” said First Partner Siebel Newsom. “Pay inequities and gaps in wealth and economic opportunity are deeply rooted in our country’s long standing history of racism and misogyny. However, through strong pay laws and the California Equal Pay Pledge, we are shifting culture towards a more inclusive and equitable economy. There is still work to do, but we are committed to closing the pay gap and creating a California where Black women and their families are able to thrive and prosper.”
Equal Pay Day was developed by the National Committee on Pay Equity (NCPE) in 1996 as a public awareness event to illustrate the gap between men’s and women’s wages. This year, Equal Pay Day has been calculated based on earnings data for full time year-round workers PLUS part time and part year workers in order to give a more complete picture of women in the workforce. Additional Equal Pay Days throughout the year highlight disparities along additional intersections such as race, motherhood, and sexual orientation. The calculations are based on U.S. Census Bureau 2021 earnings data released in 2022.
In January 2016, SB 358, the California Fair Pay Act, took effect.
The Commission launched a statewide, multi-stakeholder Pay Equity Task Force to engage diverse interests and facilitate an ongoing dialogue about pay equity between employees and their advocates, small and large employers, policymakers, legislators, experts in human resources and compensation practices, industrial organizational psychologists, labor economists, social scientists, and legal and other experts in the public and private sectors.
In 2017, the California Senate Office of Research conducted a case study on the California Pay Equity Task Force which was unique in that it is the first task force in California to be convened for the purpose of assuring effective implementation of a law.
In 2019, the First Partner launched the California Equal Pay Pledge under California for all Women to build upon California policies such as the Fair Pay Act and the Pay Transparency for Pay Equity Act by imploring companies and municipalities to do their part by closing any existing internal wage gap.
First Partner Siebel Newsom launched the California for ALL Women initiative in 2019 to center gender equity at the state level. Through the initiative she has been an outspoken champion and thought leader on pay equity, working to close the race and gender wage gaps.
“Intentional and bold action on closing the wage gap among Black women and women of color is needed across every sector and will put us on a path to truly ensuring all women, their families and communities are no longer shortchanged from economic prosperity,” said Supervisor Mitchell. “I am proud to stand with the First Partner and countless others throughout the state in the fight to end racial and gender pay discrimination.”
Women in America are paid, on average, about 84 cents to every dollar a white, non-Hispanic man makes, and Black women are paid about 64 cents to every dollar. The median Black household owns nearly 90% less wealth than the median white household with Black women owning pennies on the dollar to white men. The Aspen Institute recently found that 9 out of 10 Black women feel economically insecure.
“Today is Black Women’s Equal Pay Day – a day set aside each year to shine a light on the disparity in pay for Black women in this country and the far-reaching impacts for families, communities, and our economy,” said Mayor Bass. “Economic injustice is a problem across the board, and to solve problems effectively and authentically, we have to focus on those most impacted. Together, we will work to close this gap.”
"Closing the pay gap for Black women is an essential step for economic justice,” said Angela Glover Blackwell. “When Black women and other women of color are paid equally, we'll see the benefits cascade throughout society."
Last week, First Partner Siebel Newsom convened and moderated a panel on pay equity at Genentech in South San Francisco. Genentech was an early signatory of the Equal Pay Pledge.
The panel included Genentech CEO Alexander Hardy, Interim Chief Diversity Officer Cari DeLoa, and representatives from other parts of the business. See First Partner’s opening remarks in above video.