Equal Pay Day Chicago Coalition Moves Event in Solidarity with Women Who Have the Largest Pay Gap
CHICAGO –Tomorrow is Leap Day. And even though we get an extra day in 2020, that’s not nearly enough for women’s earnings to catch up to men’s. Women still face an average wage gap of almost 20%, and many women of color face much larger gaps. That is why the Equal Pay Day Chicago coalition announces that we will hold Chicago’s 2020 rally to end the gender wage gap on the last equal pay day observed in 2020—Latina Equal Pay Day on October 29th—rather than on March 31st when Equal Pay Day, marking the average gap for women, is observed nationally.
With this move, we recognize that we will not close the gender wage gap until every woman is compensated with equal pay for equal work. While on average, women earn 82 cents for every dollar men earn, women of color routinely experience much wider wage gaps due to the compounding effects of gender and racial discrimination, and in recent years, some of those gaps have widened. Asian American and Pacific Islander women make an average of 90 cents for every dollar paid to white men, but some ethnic subgroups make as little as 50 cents. Black women make 62 cents. Native women make 57 cents. And Latinas make just 54 cents for every dollar paid to white men. It takes more than 22 months of work on average for Latinas to earn what white men do in 12.
“When we discuss the gender wage gap, it is important to recognize the true barriers Latinas face,” said Linda Xóchitl Tortolero, President & CEO of Mujeres Latinas en Acción. “By rallying on this day, we put the experiences of women of color at the forefront. Every woman deserves a fighting chance to help their families thrive.”
In Chicago and Cook County, where women of color hold the five highest elected offices—Mayor, Treasurer, City Clerk, President of the County Board, and County Clerk—as well as having women of color serving as the state’s lieutenant governor and comptroller—we are proud to center the experiences of women of color in the pay equity conversation.
“The women’s movement and women of color have had a problematic history and relationship,” said Cherita Ellens, CEO of Women Employed. “I am pleased that the movement today embraces the notion that we are stronger together, and that we will not achieve equity if any one of us are left behind. It is gratifying to see Chicago lead the way in lifting up the voices of all of our sisters, and I’m proud to be leading an organization that is at the forefront and is helping to drive this change as part of the Equal Pay Day Chicago coalition.”
“The average wage gap number we hear so often doesn’t tell the whole story,” said Barb Yong of Golan Christie Taglia LLP, chair of the Equal Pay Day Chicago coalition. “On the 10th annual equal pay event that our coalition has organized, we seek to lift up all women in this movement for pay equity.”
About Equal Pay Day Chicago: Equal Pay Day Chicago is a coalition of over 70 organizations, businesses and government agencies with a common goal of eliminating the pay gap. For more information, visit equalpaydaychi.xyz, or follow @EqualPayDayChic Twitter, @EqualPayDayChicago on Facebook, and @EqualPayDayChi on Instagram.
About Women Employed: Women Employed relentlessly pursues equity for women in the workforce by effecting policy change, expanding access to educational opportunities, and advocating for fair and inclusive workplaces to make the world a better place for us all. Since 1973, Women Employed has opened doors, broken down barriers, and created fundamental, systemic change. For more information, visit https://womenemployed.org, or follow @WomenEmployed on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
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