Even in 2021, the world needs to do better regarding diversity. In particular, I’m talking about wage gaps.
Women in certain positions are just as qualified as their male counterparts—sometimes they’re even more qualified—but they’re still earning less money. In 2021, women make only $0.82 for every $1 that a man makes—this is the “opportunity wage gap,” accounting for all men and women in all jobs with all levels of qualifications. That’s only 1 cent more than last year, and the gap was $0.08 worse in 2015. It took six years for an 8 cents change. At that rate, it’ll take nearly 20 years to finally achieve equal pay. The “controlled gender wage gap” (meaning it measures men and women with the same job and qualifications) shows that women make $0.98 for every $1 a man makes, which is definitely much better. However, it’s still unacceptable that women earn less even with the same qualifications.
This isn’t just a problem affecting different genders. There is also a racial wage gap, with women of all races earning less than white men. Men of color also earn less than white men, but they still earn more than the women within their racial group. Of the American Indian and Alaska Natives group, women earn $0.69 and men $0.86 for every dollar a white man makes. Last year, these women earned $0.75—it has since gotten worse, possibly due to the pandemic.
Black women with the same job and qualifications as white men earn $0.97 for every $1, and Black men earn $0.99. It may not seem like much, but those few cents add up quickly, leading to a $2,000 disparity between Black women and white men and a $1,100 disparity between Black men and white men.
It is infuriating that there is such an unfair wage gap between all the different genders and races. People in the same job with the same qualifications should earn the same salary—period. Race and gender should never factor into that. So, how do we fix this?
Advocate. Sign petitions, attend protests, renegotiate your salary, and show your employers just how valuable you are. It will take time, but it’s not impossible. Let’s work together to end the wage gap.