While Tuesday’s Equal Pay Day on March 14 came and went, the day remains an ever-present and relevant reminder that highlights the disparity in pay between men and women.
From the beginning of last year, it took the average full-time working woman until Tuesday, March 14 to earn as much as a white man did in 2022 alone, per CNN.
Equal Pay Day is calculated based on data from the Census Bureau, which currently estimates that women earn 84 cents for every dollar a man does. According to the National Women Law’s Center, the current pay gap amounts to $9,954 in yearly earnings, which could pay for two months of child care ($1,883), three months of rent ($3,573), three months of health insurance premiums ($1,544), two months of student loan payments ($544), six tanks of gas ($316), and more.
However, when considering race and ethnicity, occupation, geography, age, and other factors, the pay gap varies, making March’s Equal Pay Day largely symbolic.
“March 14 is the launch of an entire year of Equal Pay Days that will highlight pay gaps experienced by women of different races, ethnicities, sexual orientation, and gender identity, and by those who are also mothers,” said Noreen Farrell, the chair of the advocacy group Equal Pay Today.
For Black women, Equal Pay Day won’t actually come until July 29.
The National Women’s Law Center also estimates that minority women lose roughly $1 million over a lifetime due to the pay gap, while their counterparts will take a loss of $400,000 over a 40-year career.