Tomorrow is Equal Pay Day, a day that symbolizes how far into the year women must work to earn what men earned in the previous year.
The progressive National Partnership for Women and Families analyzed Census data and determined that North Carolina women earn about 82 cents on the dollar compared with men.
The wage gap accounts for a yearly pay difference of more than $8,000 per woman, according to Vicki Shabo, of the National Partnership.
“In North Carolina, black women lose $18,000 and Latinas lose $25,000 compared to white, non-Hispanic men,” Shabo said. “So, these are even more substantial losses and these tend to be women in families that have less wealth and are in lower-wage jobs. So, closing the wage gap is important for women overall, but the double-binds of race and gender particularly harm families of color.”
North Carolina ranks near the middle when it comes to the size of the gender pay gap. Shabo said more than ever, women are key breadwinners for their families. Her organization is advocating for laws mandating equal wages, paid family leave, and various workplace protections.
“The wage gap does add up to lost opportunities for a woman who wants to further her education, for kids who need quality and affordable child care, and for families over their lifespan to be able to save for retirement, pay for their child's school, or more,” she said.