Equal Pay Day raises awareness for the wage gap between men’s wages and women’s wages. The date that’s chosen each year represents how far into the following year women need to work in order to earn what men earned in the United States in the year prior.1 This year, April 4 is the date that, on average, women would need to work to earn what men earned in 2016. However, for African American women, the date is July 31, and for Hispanic women, the date is November 2. These dates show how race and ethnicity are tied into a larger wage gap.2
On average, American women are paid approximately 20 percent less than American men. Worldwide, women are paid, on average, 46 percent less than men for equal pay.3 Annually, the average woman in the U.S. is losing $10,470 due to the current wage gap. This means that over a 40-year career, a woman would lose $418,800.4 The situation is even more alarming for African American and Hispanic women. African American women are earning 63 cents per dollar5 and Hispanic women are earning 54 cents per dollar6 compared to white men.
The pay gap not only affects women, but it also significantly affects their families. When women are paid less for equal pay than their male counterparts are paid, it affects the income allotted to necessities, such as groceries and education, for their families.7 In addition, childcare, college tuition, rent, healthcare, insurance, and mortgage payments are just a few of the expenses that would be affected.
Progress has occurred, as the wage gap was lowered in the 1980s and 1990s.8 But there is much more that can be done. The Little Market is a business that was founded by women to empower women in disadvantaged and marginalized communities. We work to alleviate the gender pay gap around the world. We encourage you to learn about and to raise awareness for the gender pay gap.