Aldon Thomas Stiles | California Black Media
On Equal Pay Day last week, First Partner of California Jennifer Siebel Newsom addressed the gender and race wage gap in the U.S. and the state, as the federal government announced similar plans.
“In [California], we have some of the strongest pay laws in the nation, but women still earn just $.86 on the dollar and that number plummets for women of color,” said Newsom.
“While sexism and racism are distinct forms of discrimination that manifest differently, their effects are compounded when a person experiences both at the same time. Intersectional discrimination perpetuates the racial and gender wealth gaps, limits Black women’s access to educational opportunities, and impedes their career advancement,” it reads on the AAUW’s website.
Last week, President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris announced plans to implement measures to combat the gender and racial wage gap last Tuesday.
Equal Pay Day was March 15.
Department of Labor Chief Economist Janelle Jones wrote that educated Black and Brown women are representative of this estimate.
“Black and Latina women with only a bachelor’s degree have the largest gap at 65%, and Black women with advanced degrees earn 70% of what white men with advanced degrees earn,” stated Jones.
“This is a big problem, but we actually know how to fix it,” said Wendy Chun-Hoon, director of the Women’s Bureau of the Department of Labor.
The federal investment strategy includes two major aspects of the gender wage gap: salary history and occupational segregation.
“In 2019, this is even before the impact of the pandemic, Black women faced a $39.3 billion loss, Hispanic women faced a $46.7
billion loss just because of the jobs they were concentrated in,” said Chun-Hoon.
The goal, according to Chun-Hoon, is to make investments in occupations often filled by women — such as education and health care.