Despite significant gains for women in the workplace in recent decades, the wage gap persists in nearly every occupation, from nursing to truck driving to financial management.
Today is Equal Pay Day, the average date it would take a woman working full-time to earn what a man did in 2020, nearly three additional months, and for Black, Brown and Indigenous women, it takes much longer.
Kim Borman, executive director of the Boston Women’s Workforce Council, said it’s no longer just about equal pay for equal work.
“What we really see is a gap in terms of the advancement of women into salaries, or positions that would pay at a higher level,” Borman explained.
A new report from the Institute for Women’s Police Research finds Latina women’s median weekly earnings in 2020 were just under 60% of a white man’s earnings, and Black women at close to 65%.
Alexandra Valdez, executive director of the Boston Mayor’s Office of Women’s Advancement, said she’s always looking for new and innovative ways to boost women’s entrepreneurship.
She pointed out a lot of women rely on their networks and mentors to seek new opportunities.
“Business owners, CEOs, nonprofit organizations, should continue looking at every single one of the types of work with an equity and inclusion lens, and to continue making sure that every woman has a seat at the table,” Valdez urged.
The report found more than 70% of women say the government should do more to close the pay gap, from requiring companies to report gender and pay information, to prohibiting employers from asking job applicants about previous pay.
Borman argued innovative measures are key right now, especially with so much job loss due to the pandemic.
“People were just forced out because of layoffs; others were forced out because there wasn’t childcare, because kids weren’t going to school,” Borman outlined. “And so, what we’re really concerned about is that it could have put sort of decades-long gains in jeopardy.”
She hopes women who have had to leave their jobs will be able to reenter the workforce and continue advancing.