AAUW Reacts to Latest Gender Pay Gap Data

WASHINGTON, D.C. – AAUW Chief Executive Officer Gloria L. Blackwell issued the following statement in response to figures released today by the U.S. Census Bureau:

Women’s economic security is under constant threat and, no matter how you measure it, the gender pay gap remains persistent and unacceptable. In a calculation of the latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau comparing full-time, year-round workers, women took home 83.7% of the pay that men did—a figure that is not statistically different from the pay gap in 2020. In addition, a more comprehensive calculation that compared everyone with earnings in 2021 (including part-time and seasonal workers) found that women were paid a shocking 77% of men’s wages last year.

In coalition with other equity organizations, AAUW this year used this new calculation that assesses all workers. Our goal was to get a fuller sense of the wage gap at a time when millions of women were forced out of the workforce due to layoffs and increased caregiving demands. The results underscore a grim reality: Women still face a pay gap that has, at best, stagnated over the past several years and, at worst, widened further.

Moreover, the pay gap continues to be most egregious for so many women of color. Using the analysis that included all wage earners, AAUW found that Black women were compensated a mere 64% of what white, non-Hispanic men were paid in 2021. For Latinas, the gap was even more abysmal: 54%.

We’ll keep pushing to provide the most inclusive and accurate data possible. In the meantime, we cannot get distracted from our critical work to achieve pay equity for all, which includes prioritizing racial equity. AAUW remains strongly committed to advocating for laws and policies to ensure fair pay, relieve the disproportionate burden of student debt on women of color, and provide paid leave and affordable child care. Employers and legislators must do better. We won’t stop fighting until all women are paid fairly and have the same opportunities to build secure economic futures for themselves and their families.