How Does Race Affect the Gender Wage Gap?

April 03, 2014

Race and ethnicity have always created a dividing line in the United States, and it’s no different with the gender pay gap. The pay gap affects all women, but it doesn’t affect all women equally. The latest edition of our research report, The Simple Truth about the Gender Pay Gap, presents the facts about the pay gap between women and men, showing how race and ethnicity, as well as gender, affect pay.

Race matters when it comes to the pay gap.

Race matters when it comes to the pay gap.

Asian American and white women had higher weekly take-home pay than African American and Hispanic or Latina women did in 2012, and the pattern was similar for men in these groups. The gender pay gap was smallest within the African American, Hispanic/Latina, and Native Hawaiian/other Pacific Islander full-time workforce. But compared with white men (the largest group in the workforce), African American and Hispanic/Latina women fare poorly. Hispanic or Latina women are paid 89 percent of what Hispanic or Latino men are paid, and only 53 percent of what white men are paid. African American women are paid 89 percent of what African American men are paid, and that number drops to 64 percent in comparison with white men.

So, you might ask (and Essence magazine did), What causes African American and Hispanic women to be paid less than white and Asian women?

Education is part of the reason. African American women are less likely to graduate from high school or college than their white peers. Lower graduation rates mean that many African American and Hispanic/Latina young people enter the workforce with one hand tied behind their backs.

figure 7 from The Simple Truth March 2014

Education helps close the pay gap, but it isn’t the whole story.

Still, while education improves take-home pay for everyone, African American and Hispanic women tend to be paid less than their white peers even when they have the same educational background. This tells us that educational background isn’t the whole story. Another possible explanation is discrimination, whether overt or implicit. Both forms of bias can affect take-home pay. In some ways, implicit bias, or bias that you are not aware of, can be especially problematic — you can learn to compensate for known biases, but you can’t overcome a problem you’re not aware of.

The gender pay gap affects all women, but for African American and Hispanic/Latina women, it is a steeper climb. Luckily, there are actions you can take to help narrow the pay gap, especially for women of color.

Visit fightforfairpay.org to learn more about the gender pay gap, how it affects you, and what you can do to take action for equal pay.

 


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27 Comments

  1. […] You might think that this treatment is history in America, but wage theft and human trafficking (slavery) endures, many families have no guaranteed parenting leave, and the wage gap between women and men persists. It’s even worse if you add in race. Latina women make 53% of what White men make, and if Sacagawea were working today, she’d still only see 60% of her “husband’s” salary. African American, White and Asian women make 64, 78 and 84% of a White man’s salary, respectively. http://www.aauw.org/2014/04/03/race-and-the-gender-wage-gap/ […]

  2. […] later in the year. For African-American and Hispanic women, the wage gap is worse, which means it takes even longer for their salaries to “equal” the salaries of their white male counterparts. White men are used as a […]

  3. […] matters, as the research from “The Simple Truth about the Gender Pay Gap” […]

  4. […] later in the year. For African-American and Hispanic women, the wage gap is worse, which means it takes even longer for their salaries to “equal” the salaries of their white male counterparts. White men are used as a […]

  5. […] what the average, full-time, male worker earns. But this statistic only refers to White women. The wage gap is far wider and deeper for women of color in the US, who face both a larger disparity in pay […]

  6. […] for African-American and Hispanic women, the wage gap is worse, which means it takes even longer for their salaries to “equal” the salaries of their white male […]

  7. […] Thankfully in watching the twitterverse and media carry this issue, I saw much of the messaging that was much more inclusive, I tweeted about several weeks ago about why inclusivity is important on this issue @shaileygb. I called out the repeated use of the the 77 cents on the $1 statistic, as it is only relevant for what white women earn compared to what white mean earn. I also pointed out that there are bigger gaps for women of color, specifically Latina women and Black women. I also stated that there are gaps between white men and men of color. Other tweets followed from @the_hfm citing statistics and specifics on the gaps. I suggested that other organizations and public figures focus on this as well to include other communities in the messaging and focus on the racism that plays a huge part in pay inequality. Many friends and organizations focused on this issue, and some even included the statistic per “recent” studies, “Asian American women make 87 cents on for each $1 white men earn.“ […]

  8. […] matters, as the research from “The Simple Truth about the Gender Pay Gap” […]

  9. […] only get harder for women of colour. When you compare the income of men and women of the same race, the men are earning more that the […]

  10. […] racism and sexism that leaves women of color disproportionately impacted by domestic violence, the gender pay gap experienced by black women, the deadly violence faced by black children and the myriad other manifestations of racism in the […]

  11. […] Black women, particularly those who aren’t white-collar professionals, experience the unfairness of unequal pay on a different level than white women who earn less than their male counterparts. While black women earn on average $599 weekly compared to $665 earned by black men, the pay gap between them is much smaller because black men’s earnings are also lower than that of white men and women. African American women are paid 89 percent of what African American men are paid, but just 64 percent of what white men are paid, according to the American Association of University Women’s (AAUW) annual report, “The Simple Truth.” […]

  12. […] to note, because agism,racism, and sexism both play a role in the wage gap, that when broken down by race the wage gap gets worse, with one exception, for women of the non-white persuasion: caucasian […]

  13. […] and Hispanic women are more likely to be raped than white women, and also earn less money than white women. Minority women, who have higher rates of poverty, are less equipped to leave abuses boyfriends, […]

  14. […] and Hispanic women are more likely to be raped than white women, and also earn less money than white women. Minority women, who have higher rates of poverty, are less equipped to leave abuses boyfriends, […]

  15. […] that sometimes, yes, you do have to think about things in a multidimensional fashion. For example, when we talk about the wage gap between genders, it’s important to note that black women, Latinas, Native American women, and […]

  16. […] look at black women, those numbers are even more stark with African American females making just 64% of a white man’s […]

  17. […] oppressor. It almost feels like a perfect metaphor for the struggle of modern-day women of color, who make less than their white or male counterparts and are expected to stay quiet about it, not that it’s an issue anymore in this zombie-ridden […]

  18. […] just allowed but encouraged to keep their own last names in marriage. Across the board, they make higher wages than women of their same race. In general, sexism harms women much more than it harms men, which is […]

  19. […] about this. When the black race is consistently paid a lower wage, when they are consistently at the end of skewed laws, and when […]

  20. […] In 2012, women who were employed full-time earned 77 cents for every dollar earned by a man. Accounting for race, black women only earn 64 cents to every white man’s dollar; Latinas, only 53 […]

  21. […] 2012, women who were employed full-time earned 77 cents for every dollar earned by a man. Accounting for race, black women only earn 64 cents to every white man’s dollar; Latinas, only 53 […]

  22. […] matters, as the research from “The Simple Truth about the Gender Pay Gap” […]

  23. […] families can’t afford to wonder who will stay home and raise the kids. Women of color face a much steeper wage gap than white women. When Ansari invokes Beyoncé and Jay Z as the model couple, he is speaking about […]

  24. […] families can’t afford to wonder who will stay home and raise the kids. Women of color face a much steeper wage gap than white women. When Ansari invokes Beyoncé and Jay Z as the model couple, he is speaking […]

  25. […] families can't afford to wonder who will stay home and raise the kids. Women of color face a much steeper wage gap than white women. When Ansari invokes Beyoncé and Jay Z as the model couple, he is speaking […]

  26. […] all women, she makes less money than men…as well as white and Asian women. According to the American Association of University Women, African-American women earn just 64% of what white men earn whereas white women earn 78%. Both […]

  27. […] The worse news:  that’s assuming that both hypothetical parties are white.  If you’re black or Latin, you chick might make closer to what your dudes are taking home, but that’s because “minority” males get pretty screwed as well. […]

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