By Monica Torres
Mar 14, 2023
Tuesday marks Equal Pay Day in the United States, a date that honors the ongoing fight to see everyone be paid fairly for their time, energy and labor.
“This date symbolizes how far into the year women must work to earn what men earned in the previous year,” states the website of the National Committee on Pay Equity, which was founded as a coalition of women’s, labor, religious and civil rights groups. The day was first marked in 1996 as a public awareness event.
It’s an effort with no end in sight. In 2022, women in the U.S. earned 82 cents for every dollar earned by men, which is not much improved from the 80 cents to the dollar they earned two decades ago, according to Pew Research Center, which used monthly census data for its calculations.
Women of color experience larger gender wage gaps than white women on average. The National Committee on Pay Equity marks those symbolic “catch-up” Equal Pay Day dates for Black, Latina, Native American and Asian American Pacific Islander women at later points in the year.
Men continue to out-earn women overall and in many of the occupations that boomed during the pandemic, according to a new analysis of Census Bureau data published this week. Management, business, science and arts occupations saw spikes in job gains, but women’s earnings did not keep pace with that growth. For example, women who were business operations specialists had median earnings of $60,982, compared to $80,204 for men in the same job.
“The pay gap hasn’t changed much because, in reality, our attitudes and practices haven’t gone far enough to bring about that change.” - GLENDA GRACIA-RIVERA, RUTGERS CENTER FOR WOMEN AND WORK