Equal Pay Day rally says time’s up on income inequality

“New Yorkers can take action now to build a society that values women’s work.”
For the 12th year in a row, advocates, elected officials, union leaders and others will rally on the steps of New York’s City Hall for Equal Pay Day.
For the 12th year in a row, advocates, elected officials, union leaders and others will rally on the steps of New York’s City Hall for Equal Pay Day. (iStock)

There’s a reason the date for Equal Pay Day changes every April, and it’s to symbolize how far into a year women must work in order to earn what their male counterparts did the previous year.

 

Though New York has the smallest overall gap in wages, women still only average 89 cents for every dollar a man makes, with women of color experiencing an even bigger gap. So on Tuesday, for the 12th year in a row, advocates, elected officials, union leaders and others will rally on the steps of City Hall as part of Equal Pay Day 2018 to say time’s up on income inequality. And they will be clad in red “because women are still 'in the red,'" PowHer New York, one of the organizers, said in a statement. 

 

“Women’s rights in our country are at a critical juncture. The #MeToo and #TimesUp movements push us forward, while a wave of federal rollbacks reverse our hard-won progress,” Beverly Neufeld, president of PowHer New York, told Metro. “But New Yorkers can take action now to build a society that values women’s work.” 

 

Though the state has made strides toward gender equality “women of all races, at all levels of the financial spectrum and at all levels of education continue to be underpaid compared to their male peers,” Neufeld added. “At the current rate, New York state may not close the wage gap until 2046.”

 

Among those joining Neufeld at Tuesday’s Equal Pay Day rally, which starts at noon, will be Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul; Public Advocate Letitia James; Jacqui Ebanks from the Mayor’s Commission on Gender Equity; Local CWA 1180 President Gloria Middleton, members of City Council and former E! News anchor Catt Sadler.

Sadler resigned from E! News in December after learning her male counterpart was making “close to double” her salary, she told the Huffington Post ahead of Equal Pay Day 2018.

“I’m a journalist. I’m educated. I read a lot. But I wasn’t even aware until it happened to me,” Sadler said of income inequality. “I think it’s important for everybody, regardless of race or gender ― the guys, too ― to invest enough to really become aware. Because at the end of the day, when women make more money, everybody ― society as a whole ― benefits.”

The Equal Pay Day rally is just part of the efforts being made in New York to achieve pay parity. Among this year’s goals at the state level include the passage of the Salary History Ban and establishing the One Fair Wage campaign for tipped workers. Increasing data transparency, spreading awareness of the new Salary History law and tackling wage parity for childcare workers are among the goals for New York City.

Income inequality stats for Equal Pay Day

The pay gap doesn’t discriminate women: All races, all levels of the financial spectrum and education level fall prey to income inequality.

Here are a few statistics for Equal Pay Day:

• U.S. women are paid 80 percent of what men make, according to recent figures from the Census Bureau.
• New York has the smallest overall wage gap, but women still average 89 cents for every dollar a man earns, according to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research
• Asian women earn an average of 82 cents
• Black women earn an average of 66 cents
• Hispanic women earn an average of 56 cents
• In an effort to combat the gender pay gap, New York City in October became the first U.S. city to ban employers from asking job applicants about previous salaries
• The existing level of wage inequality results in a loss of more than $50B for the state, and an annual loss of income for the average woman, which translate to $450,000 over a 40-year career, according to PowHer NY
• Women who have their first child between the 25 and 35 are at the highest risk of experiencing pay inequality, according to a recent New York Times report