September 8, 2021

Statement on Native Women’s Equal Pay Day 2021

Today, September 8th, we observe Native Women’s Equal Pay Day. This observance marks the day a Native woman would match what her white male counterpart earned in 2020. Native women make $0.60 for every dollar a white man makes. This is due in part to the fact that Native Americans, particularly women, are being left out of the conversation and lack access to resources and opportunities needed to address structural issues like pay disparity.

Executive Women of New Jersey is an organization that strives to ensure women have equal access to opportunities and that they are paid equitably in those positions regardless of their age, sexual orientation, or ethnicity. The pandemic has revealed that women, particularly women of color, are the most vulnerable to economic stress, especially as we face the worsening public health crisis. Inaction on pay equity not only puts women at risk financially, but physical risk as well. For example, according to the Indian Law Resource Center, Native Alaskan women experience domestic violence at rates 10 times higher than the rest of the US. It’s also been proven that a lack of financial resources is the number one indicator of whether a domestic violence victim will stay, leave, or return to an abusive relationship, according to the Allstate Foundation’s Purple Purse.

EWNJ has repeatedly called on the business community to pay women what they’re worth. Our 2019 Seat at the Table Report on gender equity in corporate spaces in New Jersey proves that the presence of women on a board leads to stronger financial performance and fewer governance related issues. It is past due that the business community ensures equitable pay, and consequently financial security for women, especially women of color. Businesses must prioritize diversity and pay equity at every level, from the boardroom to the staff. Get started by joining us on October 27th to discuss the findings of our upcoming 2021 Report.