In order to explore how our biases against women contribute to the wage gap that exists, we need to know the facts around wages based on region and identity.
The 2022 International Women’s Day theme was announced as “Break the Bias.” As the website for International Women’s Day shares, “Whether deliberate or unconscious, bias makes it difficult for women to move ahead. Knowing that bias exists isn’t enough, action is needed to level the playing field.” As a trainer, I know that it is hard to examine our biases unless we know what facts exist that people may consciously or unconsciously work to debase.
As a new workforce development professional, especially one who identifies as a cisgender man and who works primarily with women both as coworkers and clients, I need to know and understand the experiences of women in the workplace. In that way, I can examine my role in perpetuating these biases and work to dismantle them when and where I can.
Below are some facts about women in the workplace that may help you #breakthebias against women.
Did You Know?
Each year, the US Census Bureau highlights some facts about women (or females, per the data set, but that’s another post). Below are the lights from the 2022 release:
The number of females of all ages in the United States. There were 159.9 million males of all ages.
The approximate ratio of women to men ages 85 and older (4.1 million to 2.2 million) in the United States.
In 2019, the percentage of women 25 and older with a bachelor’s degree as their highest degree; 19.9% of men had a bachelor’s degree as their highest degree.
Women’s median earnings as a percentage of men’s median earnings, for full full-time, year-round workers 16 years and older.
Understanding the Gender Pay Gap
To advocate for women in the workplace, we need to know and understand how women are paid locally. The median gap in wages, based on national data based on 2019 earnings, was $10,150. Below is the table that can be explored at https://public.tableau.com/views/GenderPayGapMap_16461609104250/USA_Dashboard.
Now, remember, that women make up the majority of the people in the workplace, there are more college-educated women in the US, and women will live longer over the age of 85 2 to 1 to men.
It is possible to achieve pay parity — just ask Puerto Rico! They have no statistical difference between the pay men and women receive, according to the 2019 earning data. Unfortunately, their median earnings are also the lowest from any state or territory.
Recognizing the Impact on Trans Women
The US Census Data and the data sets use the term females, rather than women. Additionally, the data set erroneously used the terms biological sex and gender interchangeably. This is important to point out because the wage gap for transgender women is equally important to point out. Until the federal government captures and releases this information, we need to look at national data captured by non-profit organizations.
According to the Human Rights Committee (HRC), “LGBTQ+ workers earn about 90 cents for every dollar that the typical worker earns. LGBTQ+ people of color, transgender women and men and non-binary individuals earn even less when compared to the typical worker.” However, it is important to look at what cisgender and transgender women within the LGBTQ+ community make.
LGBTQ+ Wages by the Numbers
The HRC has published data that highlights the wage gap for a variety of identities:
- API LGBTQ+ women: $1.00
- LGBTQ+ White workers: 97 cents
- White LGBTQ+ women: 96 cents
- Cisgender men in the LGBTQ+ community: 96 cents
- LGBTQ+ Latinx workers: 90 cents
- Cisgender women in the LGBTQ+ community: 87 cents
- Black LGBTQ+ women: 85 cents
- LGBTQ+ Black workers: 80 cents
- Native American LGBTQ+ women: 75 cents
- Latinx LGBTQ+ women: 72 cents
- Non-binary, genderqueer, genderfluid, and two-spirit workers: 70 cents
- Trans men: 70 cents
- Trans women: 60 cents
From the data presented above, White cisgender women and men in the LGBTQ+ community make nearly $1 compared to their straight men and women counterparts, while transgender women only make 60 cents to the same dollars earned. HRC recognizes that the pay disparity shared above may not tell the entire store. They share, “Of note, the wage gap between LGBTQ+ and non-LGBTQ+ people is potentially even larger than what is reported here, as the present analysis only includes full-time workers.”
As we #breakthebias, we need to look at the biases against trans women and non-binary or genderqueer people. When you are in a place to make a change in the hiring and advancement of trans people, consider your biases and make a change that can make a difference in their lives and other lives of their families.
To learn more about disparities in poverty and other aspects of economic well-being experienced by the LGBTQ+ community, see the HRC Foundation’s resource Understanding Poverty in the LGBTQ+ Community.