WHEN WILL THE GENDER PAY GAP BE CLOSED?
By Ginny Hatfield, AAUW California Public Policy Committee
How long will it take? What can we do to make it happen sooner rather than later? These are questions that AAUW has been grappling with for decades. As we mark Equal Pay Day on March 24th, perhaps there is hope that we can make progress in decreasing the gender pay gap in 2021, given a new administration that is committed to social justice and leveling the growing disparity between the haves and the have-nots. We also now have women in the highest echelons of national leadership; and as we all know, when women are in charge, things get done!
According to the 2020 update to AAUW’s The Simple Truth, based on the projected earnings ratio compiled between 1988-2019, it will take white women until the year 2069–50 years–to achieve parity with men. For women of color the numbers are even worse. Black women will have to wait until the year 2369–350 years–as their earnings ratio advanced only 7% from 1988 to 2019. And Latinas find themselves in the worse scenario as their earnings ratio has only increased from 51% to 55% during this period of time, projecting their year of parity to 2451–430 years! (AAUW, The Simple Truth 2020 update)
The reasons for these disparities in the gender wage gap are known – and understanding what’s causing the problem is the first step to meeting it head on. Members are urged to click here to read the summary of The Simple Truth update on the AAUW National website which lays out the problem, its causes and solutions.
AAUW is leading the charge to effectuate change and you are part of the solution with the work your branches undertake on behalf of women and girls. The more we educate ourselves and others about the scope of this gender wage gap with programs like Start Smart, Work Smart, NCCWSL, etc., the more we chip away at the disparity. What is your branch doing to make a difference in the Gender Pay Gap? Let us know what creative ideas you have come up with to spread the word in these days of social distancing, and we’ll share them on the web (send to [email protected]).