LEE COUNTY, Fla. — Women across the U.S. are playing catch-up. Wednesday March 24, 2021 marks “Equal Pay Day.” It’s the day women collectively earn as much as men earned last year.
But not every woman will reach that “equal amount,” today. It varies by ethnicity. According to U.S. Census data, Asian American women earn 91.4 percent of what white men earn. They finally earned what men made last year on March 5th.
Black women won’t catch up until August. Native American women the next month, and Latinas will be working until October 21st until they see the same fruit men earned last year. That’s still seven months from now.
Overall, full-time working women in the u.s. earn 82 cents for every dollar a man makes, according to the latest U.S. Census data on wages.
Pallas Diaz is fed up with the double standard.
“It doesn’t just affect women, right? It affects our families. And the gender pay gap also affects our retirement earnings. It affects our debt,” she said.
She’s the Vice President of the National Organization for Women in Collier County. She said women still get the short end of the stick, even after earning more college degrees than men.
“As a result, women are coming out with a lot more college debt. As we said, we’re starting out behind, even though we should be starting out ahead,” she said.
Single parents got hit even harder when the COVID-19 pandemic started last year. 35 percent of homes in Lee, Charlotte and Collier Counties are run by single parents. A U.S. Census Bureau survey shows single moms were three times as likely to be out of work last year because of child care.
Diaz said the pay wage gap closed because of this, but it’ll open again.
“Majority of the jobs that were lost were lower income jobs,” she said.
Dr. Cindy Banyai knows the struggle of juggling childcare and work. Last year she ran for Florida Congressional District 19, priding herself as a single-working mother, and an advocate for family-friendly work places.
“Things like flexible hours, remote working options, maternity leave, childcare subsidies - onsite childcare,” she said.
Diaz said the Paycheck Fairness Act could close the pay wage gap. if you support it, she says you should reach out to your local representatives to pass it.