March 25, 2021

In the Wake of COVID-19, Equal Pay Day Stands for More Than Financial Equity

On March 24th the United States recognized Equal Pay Day to acknowledge the wage disparity between men and women across every profession. According to the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC), women working full time on average are paid 82 cents for every dollar paid to men. This year’s Equal Pay Day emphasizes the extreme discrimination that has been worked into the very fabric of the business community. The COVID-19 pandemic has only intensified these inequities for women, especially women of color.

Since the onset of the pandemic, women’s employment has taken a harder hit than men’s, with over 5.3 million net job losses according to NWLC. Women-dominated industries such as leisure, hospitality, retail, and child care were the most impacted by the pandemic, which has led to an entire population of women who stay home to assist in education duties and childcare rather than participating in the job market. It has become crystal clear that regardless of your position, as a woman you are required to navigate a double standard for less gratitude, less respect, and most importantly less money.

At EWNJ, our focus is to ensure professional women are recognized and acknowledged for their incredible work. Our organization stands with women in entry level positions all the way up to the boardroom. These women deserve the same financial stability granted to their male counterparts. The decline of women in the workforce was addressed by President Biden on CBS News, calling the historically high unemployment rates a “national emergency.” As advocates for women, we challenge companies to conduct a compensation audit immediately and to identify and address the disparity. Pay women more, especially Black and Latina women, and work to pursue an internal culture that respects and fosters their contributions to the workplace. Today is not just about equal pay but about equal opportunities, equal support, and equal investments for all regardless of your gender, ethnicity, or career choice.

Executive Women of New Jersey