There was a time that when you spoke of “equal pay for everyone” it meant just that; equal pay for everyone, all races, all genders. These days when you hear it and when you say it, with all the attention going to the gender wage gap, there’s little emphasis placed on that racial wage gap. If I didn’t know better I would think that equal pay for minorities, black and Hispanic men particularly, didn’t need to be addressed anymore. Ah, but I know better, I think.
Equal Pay Day is the product of the National Committee on Pay Equity. Founded in 1979, the NCPE is a mixed group of civil rights organizations, labor unions, educational, legal and religious groups working to eliminate sex-based and race-based wage discrimination and to establish pay equity. The pay day was established in 1996 to highlight the growing gap between men and women’s wages. So does that mean that the standard of the American wage, i.e. what a white male makes, is being freely and unabashedly paid to every minority male in similar or same occupations? According to some stats compiled on infoplease, the answer is no.
In 2013, black men made 75 percent of what white males made and Hispanic men 67 percent, white women 78 percent, black women 64 percent and Hispanic women 54 percent. At the current rate of pay, white women wouldn’t catch white men in wages until the year 2059-and they are still ahead of black and Hispanic men and black and Hispanic women. It’s 2016; have we bridged the gap in these past three short years? Have we done it in this heated climate of income inequality?
Pay equity—evaluating and compensating jobs based on their skill, effort, responsibility and working conditions, and not on the people who hold the jobs—is a solution to eliminating wage discrimination and closing the wage gap.
From About NCPE: The National Committee on Pay Equity
So tomorrow, if attending an Equal Pay Day event or simply hanging out thinking about the wage gap, consider that the need for wage equity improvement across the board, in all courts, for all genders is still very much necessary, indeed; for women and for men. Hopefully we can close the gap way before 2059.