Weekly Wonder: Gender pay gap puts women 30 cents behind on the dollar. Women of color have it worse.

By Alex Hemmer
BU News Service

BOSTON — As the end of 2019 draws near, working women across Boston are still struggling to earn as much as their male coworkers do. 

According to a report released by Boston Women’s Workforce Council (BWWC) last week, women make 30 cents less than men do on the dollar. 

Women of color are getting the brunt of the gender pay gap, the report shows. For every dollar a white man makes, white women are said to make 70 cents, but Asian American women only make 67 cents. Black women follow with a pay rate of 49 cents on the dollar, while Hispanic women rank the lowest with only a 45 cent pay rate.

This data may suggest that women of color are not as valued as their white colleagues are in the workforce, which could also explain their underrepresented presence in many workplaces.

BWWC’s report suggests that the lack of representation may have to do with fewer women of color getting promoted to positions in middle management or higher, adding that their work in 2020 “will include a major emphasis on advancing women into leadership positions, particularly women of color” who the report says are affected more than white women.

Newsrooms are among many places in the country where the majority of employees consists of white men. Drawing from its own company’s records, NPR noted that it’s nearly 400-person staff is “75.1% white, 8.8% black, 7.7% Asian, 6.1% Latino, 2.1% multiracial and 0.3% American Indian” as of 2017, which NPR Ombudsman Elizabeth Jenkins called a “disappointing showing.”

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