If Wage Gap Closed, Colorado Women Could Afford More Than Eight Additional Months of Rent, More Than 10 Additional Months of Child Care or More Than Seven Additional Months of Health Insurance Premiums
(Colorado Analysis Available here) A new state-by-state analysis released on the eve of Equal Pay Day by the National Partnership for Women & Families finds that women employed full time, year-round in Colorado are typically paid just 82 cents for every dollar paid to a man in Colorado – a yearly pay difference of $10,136. This annual wage gap represents money Colorado women could be spending on housing, child care or health insurance costs. If the wage gap were closed, on average, a working woman in Colorado would be able to afford more than eight additional months of rent, more than 10 additional months of child care, or more than seven additional months of premiums for employer-based health insurance.
Working women in Colorado – who lose a combined total of nearly $17 billion due to the wage gap each year – are not alone in experiencing the effects of the wage gap. The National Partnership’s new study concludes that there is a gender-based wage gap in every single state and the District of Columbia. The cents-on-the-dollar gap is largest in Louisiana, followed closely by Utah, Indiana and Alabama – and smallest in California and the District of Columbia. The study also analyzed the wage gap in each of Colorado’s congressional districts, as well as for Latinas in Colorado and other states.
The nation’s persistent wage gap is especially harmful for women of color. The analysis finds that nationally, Latinas are typically paid 53 cents, Native American women 58 cents, Black women 61 cents, white, non-Hispanic women 77 cents, and Asian American women 85 cents for every dollar paid to white, non-Hispanic men. The wage gap for mothers – who are breadwinners in half of families with children under 18 – is 71 cents compared to every dollar paid to fathers.
“The wage gap is truly a chasm that impedes women’s ability to support ourselves and our families, pursue and achieve our dreams, and save for the future,” said National Partnership President Debra L. Ness. “This gap persists across industry, occupation and education level. It does not have a single cause and will not be eliminated with a single solution. The U.S. House of Representatives’ passage of the Paycheck Fairness Act, legislation that would help end harmful practices that lead to pay discrimination and establish stronger workplace protections and remedies for women who face discrimination, is an encouraging step, but lawmakers must do more. To erase the gender wage gap lawmakers must also raise the federal minimum wage and eliminate the sub-minimum wage for workers who rely on tips, and workers with disabilities; pass legislation to end sexual harassment and pregnancy discrimination; set national standards for paid family and medical leave, paid sick days, and predictable schedules; and increase access to high-quality, reproductive health care. Women and their families in Colorado and across the country cannot afford to wait.”
Findings for each state from the National Partnership’s new wage gap analysis are available at NationalPartnership.org/Gap
National Partnership for Women & Families is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy group dedicated to promoting fairness in the workplace, reproductive health and rights, access to quality, affordable health care, and policies that help all people meet the dual demands of work and family. More information is available at NationalPartnership.org.