Today is equal pay day. It’s a day to call out the importance of making sure women have an equal opportunity to earn. COVID-19 is hitting industries— like hospitality and travel— that employ a lot of women, including low wage women, particularly hard. Join me in making sure every woman can earn enough to care for her family.
Already, women represent a disproportionate share of lower-wage Vermonters. The gender wage gap is biggest for women of color and women living with
disabilities. It is caused primarily by three factors:
- Segregation into lower wage jobs,
- Time in an out of the workforce, usually to care for family members, and
- Gender bias and the economic impact of experiences that disproportionately affect women, such as sexual harassment and intimate partner violence.
COVID-19 is likely to make the wage gap worse, because the sectors most affected by the virus employ a lot of women, and a disproportionate number of women of color. (That means a lot of women in particular are out of work or not earning right now.)
And when childcare moves temporarily from the paid sector to the “unpaid sector”—in other words, the parent sector— this work tends to be done by women.
Stand with me to work for living wages and equal pay, so that every person in every part of our great state has a fair chance to succeed.