Data And Methodology

Last Wednesday, September 21, was “Equal Pay Day” for Black women, which represents how many more days into this year a Black woman (in the aggregate) must work to make as much money as a White man did last year. I was invited to speak about Equal Pay Day for Black Women at an event in Milwaukee, the second most segregated city in the United States. Newark, New Jersey, ranks first.

The organizer of the event, Jasmine Johnson, was very alarmed that last year “Equal Pay Day” for Black women was August 3 and this year it was September 21. 

The change in the date does not fully represent a change in wage disparity between White men and Black women. To calculate this year’s wage gap, full- and part-time workers were combined to account for the increase in the number of women working part-time due to the pandemic.

That Methodology Is Flawed

Here is why.

If there is an increase in the number of part-time workers, who already earn less than full-time workers, and that increase happens for women, who earn less than men, the result is that women will have to work longer to earn what White men make. Combining full- and part-time workers overestimates the disparities – another example of why WISER advocates for data disaggregation.

Table 1. Equal Pay Day Calendar 2022 (2021)

Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Women’s Equal Pay Day is May 3 (March 9). Asian American and Pacific Islander women are paid 75 cents (85 cents) for every dollar paid to white men.
LGBTQIA+ Equal Pay Awareness Day is June 15 (June 16). Without enough data to make calculations, this day raises awareness about the wage gap experienced by LGBTQIA+ folks.
Moms’ Equal Pay Day is September 8 (May 5). Moms are paid 58 cents (75 cents) for every dollar paid to dads.
Black Women’s Equal Pay Day is September 21 (August 3). Black women are paid 58 cents (63 cents) for every dollar paid to white men.
Native Women’s Equal Pay Day is November 30 (September 8). Native women are paid 50 cents (60 cents) for every dollar paid to white men.
Latina’s Equal Pay Day is December 8 (October 21). Latinas are paid 49 cents (55 cents) for every dollar paid to white men.

Note: Purple denotes dates and values for 2021

Also, note there is still no day for White women. Either they did not read or ignored my Bloomberg article, which shows how biased we can be about equality for women.

To have a more equitable and inclusive society, we must collect better data, use the appropriate methodology and report inclusive statistics.