Women’s Funding Network Demands Real Equity on Equal Pay Day

Statement by Women’s Funding Network President and CEO Elizabeth Barajas-Román

SAN FRANCISCO  —  Equal Pay Day is March 24, 2021, spotlighting how far into the next year women have to work to be paid the same amount that a man was paid the previous year. Women’s Funding Network President and CEO Elizabeth Barajas-Román issued the following statement:

“In the United States, women on average make only 82 cents for every dollar made by an average white man, but for women of color, the gap is even worse. For each dollar a white non-Hispanic man is paid on average, Black women earn 63 cents, Native women earn 60 cents, and Latina women earn only 55 cents. This means that in 2021, Latina women would have to work until October 21, 2021 —  nearly an entire extra year of work — to finally catch up to the same amount of earnings that white men were paid in 2020 alone. And for Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) women, while average wages might look promising in aggregate, it’s important to remember that AAPI women are not a homogeneous group. Indeed, a closer examination of the disaggregated data for Southeast Asian and Pacific Islander women show some of the widest wage gaps of all, with Burmese women paid only 52 cents and Nepali women only 54 cents for every dollar paid to white, non-Hispanic men.

“To close the wage and wealth gaps experienced by women — especially women of color — we must address the underlying inequities, disparities, and barriers that created and reinforce economic inequality and disparities in the first place. We must dismantle white male supremacy and oppression in all its forms by lifting up the voices and leadership of women — especially women of color.

“While this is Equal Pay Day for some, we know that women of color must work even longer into the year to catch up to men. We know that many women who are outside of the paid workforce suffer economic insecurity and struggle to survive. Yes, we must fight for pay equity but we also must fight for equity. Period.

“Women’s funds, foundations, and gender equity funders across the country are working together to ensure that women and people of color are not only at the table but in seats of power. When we ensure that communities have the resources they need to address their priority issues, we will finally begin to root out injustice. Women’s philanthropy is leading the movement to reshape philanthropy so that we are responsive to the grassroots movements that are transforming society.”