Our Voices

International Equal Pay Day

From the service industry to the C-suite, women face a persistent – and startling – pay disparity compared to their male coworkers, particularly white, male co-workers.

September 18 marks International Equal Pay Day, a day designed to build upon the United Nations’ commitment to human rights and against all forms of discrimination, including discrimination against women and girls.

Across all regions, women are paid less than men, with U.N. estimating the gender pay gap to be 20 per cent globally. Nationally, the picture isn’t much better. This week, the U.S Census Bureau released new wage data from 2022, which shows the wage gap for women in the United States remains pernicious and stagnant. According to the new data, for every $1 a man working full-time year-round is paid, a woman working full-time, year-round typically is paid just 84 cents. When looking at all earners, including part-time, part-year, and seasonal, women, on average, only make 78 cents compared to men. The pay disparity is even more severe for most women of color.

Broadly, the average American woman, regardless of race and ethnicity, has to work 15 months to catch up to a white man’s salary: That’s about 83 cents for every dollar a white man makes, a report by the National Partnership for Women and Families shows.

For women of color the gap widens: for Black women specifically, it’s roughly 67 cents for full-time, year-round workers; 64 cents for all workers, including part-timers, according to Equal Pay Today, a group of nonprofit organizations and advocacy group that track such data and designate Equal Pay Days for various demographics throughout the year.

Achieving equal pay for women once and for all will take the dedication and focus of the global community, a well rounded effort including strengthening promoting laws and policy that increase equity, enhancing workplace protections against harassment, establishing paid family leave and ending the subminimum wage for workers reliant on wages through tips.

Learn more about the issue and what you can do by learning about the U.N.’s Equal Pay Commission, the only multi-stakeholder partnership working to reduce the pay gap internationally, here.