On Equal Pay Day, We Double Down on Economic Justice

Equal Pay Day is the annual reminder that women who work full-time, year-round take this long into the new year to earn as much as men did the year before.  In other words, to make 12 months of a man’s earnings, a woman has to work 14.5 months.

In 2024, women earn just 84 cents for every dollar earned by men—the same figure as last year—and one penny up from 2022.  This translates into $9,990 less per year in median earnings.

According to the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC), a woman just starting out will earn $399,600 less over a 40-year career compared to men.  For Native women compared to white, non-Hispanic men, total amounts to $1,149,880, for Latinas the losses are $1,218,000, for Black women, 884,800, and for Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Other Pacific Islander women (AANHPI) the losses are $187,616.

In this fact sheet, the NWLC shows how women of color experience a wage gap compared to white, Non-Hispanic men at every education level:

“Educational attainment is often seen as a path to economic stability, but women of color are typically paid less than white, non-Hispanic men with the same educational attainment. Often, women of color are also paid less than white, non-Hispanic men with less educational attainment.”

This analysis from the Economic Policy Institute shows how little progress has been made in narrowing the gender wage gap over the past three decades.  It underscores how deep-seated these problems are, and why they require the full-on, multi-issue approach that is NOW’s hallmark.

“Women are paid less than men as a result of occupational segregation, devaluation of women’s work, societal norms, and discrimination, all of which took root well before women entered the labor market,” writes the author.

Many women make ends meet with a combination of part-time, seasonal, and gig work that keeps their wages down, even though they work just as hard as men.  On Equal Pay Day, NOW members are joining the fight for #PayTransparency—which means companies must be open about the compensation provided for current and prospective employees.

The NWLC reports that pay transparency helps women have the information they need to decide what jobs to apply for and negotiate their pay.

Congress needs to pass the Salary Transparency Act and also the Paycheck Fairness Act, which makes it illegal to retaliate against workers who discuss or disclose their wages, closes loopholes that allow employers to pay women less and ensures women have access to the same legal action against sex-based pay discrimination that exists for those subjected to discrimination based on race or ethnicity.

Contact: Press Team, press@now.org,