Gender wage gap costs Mass women $23B a year: Report - Metro US

Gender wage gap costs Mass women $23B a year: Report

gender wage gap, equal pay day, wage gap massachusetts, massachuetts women, equal pay day 2018
Women demanding an end to the gender wage gap on Equal Pay Day 2017. Photo: Getty Images

Massachusetts women are losing out on billions of dollars a year because of the gender wage gap, a new analysis has said.

In Massachusetts, women are typically paid 82 cents for every dollar paid to a man, the National Partnership for Women & Families found.

That leads to a yearly pay difference of more than $11,000 and a combined total loss for all women in the commonwealth of more than $23.4 billion each year.

These findings come from a new analysis by the National Partnership, a nonprofit that focuses on promoting fairness in the workplace, released for Equal Pay Day on Tuesday, April 10.

“The gender-based wage gap results in staggering losses that make it harder for women, in Massachusetts and across the country, to pay for food and shelter, child care, college tuition, birth control and other healthcare,” said Vicki Shabo, National Partnership vice president for workplace policies, in a statement.

The nonprofit’s analysis breaks down the gender wage gap further by looking at how it affects women of color. While all women in Massachusetts are typically paid about $11,200 less than men, that difference is greater when looking at specific minorities.

In Massachusetts, Asian women earn about $12,700 less than white, non-Hispanic men each year, according to the analysis; white, non-Hispanic women earn about $13,800 less; black women earn about $26,500 less and Latina women earn about $32,400 less.

Compared to other states, this wage gap is actually on the smaller side. Massachusetts had the 14th smallest cents-on-the-dollar wage gap in the nation, according to the National Partnership, and every single state showed evidence of a gender-based wage gap.

The nonprofit is urging Congress to pass multiple acts that would help break these patterns of pay discrimination.

Last month, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey announced that an updated Equal Pay Law will go into effect here on July 1. The updates provide more clarity, according to Healey’s office, on what constitutes gender-based wage discrimination, as well as adds new protections for works and incentives for employers to address these pay disparities.

“Equal pay is not only a matter of basic workplace fairness and dignity for women, but also a matter of economic security for families in our state. This July, we will be one step closer toward closing the gender pay gap when our updated pay equity law goes into effect,” Healey said in an emailed statement to Metro. “Our office worked closely with advocates, members of the business community and the legislature to craft these important updates, and we will not rest until we eliminate wage disparities once and for all.” 

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