Although the District is relatively progressive when it comes to the wage gap between women and men, a new report by the National Partnership for Women & Families finds that, in sum, full-time female workers in D.C. earn almost $1 billion less than full-time male workers here each year.
The group determines that figure using U.S. Census Bureau data on the median-income figures for both sexes—$61,718 and $68,932, respectively—resulting in an annual pay difference of $7,214. D.C. women employed full-time, year-round make 90 cents for every dollar men make; across the U.S., that figure is 79 cents for every dollar.
But female African-American and Latina workers make 56 cents and 50 cents, respectively, “for every dollar paid to white, non-Hispanic men” in the District, according to the National Partnership’s report. The group calculates that as a result of these disparities, D.C. women lose a combined $938 million annually.
“It is unacceptable that the wage gap has persisted, punishing the country’s women and families for decades,” National Partnership President Debra Ness says in a statement. “Some state lawmakers have taken steps to address the issue by passing legislation to combat discriminatory pay practices and provide other workplace supports. It is past time for federal lawmakers to do the same.”
The report notes that women head more than 42,000 District families, and about 30 percent of these earn incomes below the poverty line. Per the authors, if the wage gap were closed completely, “a working woman in the District would have enough money for approximately[…]more than five additional months of rent.” They argue that in the U.S., the wage gap is evident across industries, occupations, and levels of education.
Photo by Darrow Montgomery