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Asian-American Women Short-Changed

by Olivia Sandbothe  |  March 15, 2016

Asian-American Women Short-Changed

The wage gap between men and women is well-known – in the United States, women who work full-time year-round can expect to earn only 79 percent of what a man in a similar position would make. But when we look more closely, the gender divide is only one element of wage inequality. Race, nationality and geography also have a profound impact on what any given worker can expect to earn.

Today, March 15, we mark Asian American Women’s Equal Pay Day. If you are an Asian-American woman, the amount you’ve earned between Jan. 1, 2015 and today is roughly equal to what a white man earned during the 2015 calendar year. That’s an extra two-and-a-half months of work just to catch up!

Asian-American women are actually more likely to have advanced degrees than white men, but their pay gap persists across professions. Asian-American female surgeons, for example, make only 54 cents to a white man’s dollar. The gap also varies by age, by state and by the worker’s ancestral nationality. Women of Chinese descent have nearly achieved parity, while women with Vietnamese ancestry make an average of only 64 cents to the dollar.

Women’s History Month is a great time to reflect on the progress that we have yet to make. AFSCME is committed to ensuring that everyone can earn equal pay for equal work, regardless of gender or race. You can urge your representatives in Congress to take action by clicking here.

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