March 9, 2021
Statement on Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Women’s Equal Pay Day 2021
Today is Asian American and Pacific Islander Women’s Equal Pay Day; a day to draw attention to the persistent wage gap that women face in America. March 9th, 2021 represents how long, on average, it would take for AAPI women to earn the same amount as their white male counterparts. In other words, if a white man earned $100,000 in 2020, it would take an Asian American woman all of 2020 plus 2 months and 9 days of 2021 to earn the same amount for the same job in corporate America. More troubling is that at 87 cents for every $1, Asian American women have lost ground since last year when the average rate was 92 cents for every $1 dollar. While Asian American Equal Pay Day is not one size fits all for Asian women, this serves as a reminder to the nation that for certain communities the wage gap is far greater. For example, Vietnamese and Thai professional women are making 67 cents on the dollar. Bangladeshi professional women are making 60 cents on the dollar, and Nepalese women are making 50 cents on the dollar.
This unfortunate commemoration comes as our nation is facing a multitude of crises: an economic crisis, a pandemic, and the deplorable rise in violence against the Asian American community. This uptick in violence is a reaction to not only the pandemic, but also encouraged by those who exploit the fears, anxieties, and hatred in our community. Pay inequity exists because of unspoken and unanalyzed biases that have been implicit in our society for generations.
These issues lie on the same spectrum; this country does not value or protect minority groups. Pay equity, inclusion, and belonging are core EWNJ’s values and we condemn violence and stand with our AAPI neighbors. We’re calling on the business community to speak out and support their AAPI colleagues. We also encourage companies to conduct a compensation audit and pay women what they’re worth. It is past time for this country to ensure safety and fair compensation for everyone.
Executive Women of New Jersey