Women Make 77% of Men: How Making The Swich Can Help
Today is Equal Pay Day. In other words, it’s the day that “reflects how far into the current year women must work to match what men earned in the previous year.”
THE ISSUE: WOMEN MAKE LESS THAN MEN
Clearly, it’s an issue that “for full-time, year-round workers, women are paid on average only 77 percent of what men are paid; for women of color, the gap is significantly wider. African American women on average earn only 64 cents and Latinas on average earn only 55 cents for every dollar earned by white, non-Hispanic men.” And in NY, according to the National Women’s Law Center, the numbers aren’t much different. Check how NY women’s hourly earnings compare to White men:
All Women: 83.9%
African American Women: 66.6%
THE WHY: WOMEN DISPROPORTIONATELY HAVE LOWER PAYING (SERVICE) JOBS
While there are many reasons that the wage gap exists, it’s important to realize that a major driver of this discrepancy is that women, and specifically minority women, are disproportionately represented in service jobs, and that these service jobs are low paying and insecure with variable wages and unpredictable schedules. In fact, according to Restaurants Opportunity Center, “52% of all restaurant workers are women, but 66% of tipped workers are women.” And the restaurant industry employes 1/10 Americans, of which 36% are minorities. The impact of these low wage industries on the wage gap is undeniable.
THE SOLUTIONS: HOW MAKING THE SWICH CAN HELP
There are several ways that people are working to help close this gender wage gap, including advocating for Equal Pay laws at both the federal and state level. By all means, supporting these efforts is key. At the same time, by eating at restaurants (and shopping at other stores) that offer higher wages – living wages – this would help to close the gender wage gap as well, which benefits us all. And we have the power to do that without waiting for anyone to sign anything into law. And these restaurants do exist. You can search for (and score) them on SWICH of course, but check out this list put together by ROC (most of which are also SWICH approved), including the High Road Restaurant Week that is being organized in NYC in April!