Today, April 9, is Equal Pay Day—the date that marks how many extra days women must work in 2013 to earn what men earned in 2012. Unfortunately, the wages of working women and particularly the wages of women of color continue to lag behind the pay of their male counterparts. Moreover, for women of color there is a double pay gap. As a group, women of color earn less than their white female peers—a reality that means they need to work longer to earn the same pay as white women and then even longer to match the earnings of white men. The gender- and race-based wage gap affects families of color with long-term consequences that hinder wealth accumulation.
Women currently make up about half of all workers in the U.S. labor force and among mothers in the labor force the majority are either breadwinners or share that responsibility with a partner. In 2010, 13.1 percent of women in the workforce were black, 4.7 percent were Asian, and 12.8 percent were Latina. What’s more, these women of color are increasingly the breadwinners in their families—53.3 percent of black households and 40.1 percent of Latino households.
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