The fight for pay equality has been one that made some significant leaps forward in the past years, but we are by no means on equitable footing just yet. Women are still paid less than men. The gender pay gap (or gender wage gap) is the average difference between the remuneration for working men and women. In the United States, for example, the non-adjusted average female's annual salary is 79 percent of the average male salary.
These numbers become even more disparate when you take race into account on top of gender inequality. Women of color in the United States experience the gender wage gap most severely. While protests gain momentum for Black Lives Matter all around the nation, the arguments for consequences of sexism and racism in the United States can be left for someone else to debate. But let’s inspect the numbers which ultimately result in lost wages that mean women (particularly women of color) have less money to support themselves and their families.
Latinas are typically paid just 54 cents for every dollar, while Native American women are typically paid just 57 cents for every dollar, and Black women are typically paid just 62 cents for every dollar. Caucasian women are typically paid just 79 cents for every dollar earned by Caucasian men.
It is not just the gender pay gap that is the issue. It appears that the problem is deeper than a long overdue and urgently needed pay rise. A disturbing pattern is evident. Women are far from playing on an even field, and if anything, they have it far tougher.
Studies have shown that approximately 30 percent of women are spending more than they earn each month compared to just 19 percent of men. The difference is staggering, particularly given the fact that while women are almost half of the workforce, they earn far less than men. Across all racial and ethnic groups, women in the United States are typically paid 82 cents for every dollar paid to men. On top of this, women have a longer life expectancy and deal with fewer benefits, child-care, and other factors that add up to an extremely challenging picture.
The only way to make a real change is for women to take charge of their own finances and gain more knowledge, financial literacy, and confidence in investments. Of course, the pay gap needs to disappear, and the goal is equal pay for equal work. There are many factors that need to be addressed, but if more women were given an equal opportunity, then things would certainly be different. Perhaps in the near future things will change. In the meantime, women will have to fight harder than ever to become financially stable and independent.
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