Asian American Pacific Islander Equal Pay Day
For Immediate Release
California Commission on the Status of Women & Girls, Congresswoman Doris Matsui, and California State Treasurer Fiona Ma Acknowledge AAPI Equal Pay Day
SACRAMENTO, CA – The California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls acknowledges March 9, 2021, which marks Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Equal Pay Day. This is a day that delineates the number of additional days into the year that AAPI women must work in order to earn the same amount that White men earn in a single year. Racial and gender discrimination combine to produce the economic injustice that is the AAPI pay gap.
Within the AAPI community, many subgroups are among the lowest paid groups of all women. According to data from the National Women’s Law Center, while the aggregate data shows that in 2019 AAPI women made $0.90 for every dollar a White man made, Nepalese women specifically made only $0.50 and Hmong women clocked in at $0.61. Vietnamese women were found to have made an average of $0.67 for every dollar a White man made while Japanese women averaged $0.92.
Congresswoman Doris Matsui, a cosponsor of the Paycheck Fairness Act, noted the need to address the issue as it impacts economic security.
“Today is the day that AAPI women finally catch up to the earnings of white men in the previous year. Equal pay is not simply a question of fairness, it’s one of economic security,” said Congresswoman Matsui. “The increased hate crimes against the AAPI community are a poignant reminder that we must address issues afflicting our Asian American community, and that includes fighting the gender pay gap that AAPI women face in the workforce. From factory floors to the boardroom, women everywhere perform the same job and far too often receive less pay for that work. On AAPI Equal Pay Day we renew our commitment to end pay discrimination, close the wage gap and ensure women of all backgrounds have equity in the workplace.”
As hate crimes have risen against Asian American and Pacific Islander communities, and the impact of Covid19 has hit hard, it is crucial that we remember that equal pay is not simply an idea, or a hope for high-level equality. Pay equity translates to the very real lived experiences of women and families everywhere, grappling with economic security in the present, and looking ahead to retirement.
Dates for Equal Pay Days are based on annual U.S. Census data on median earnings for full-time, year-round workers. The Commission updates information on each Equal Pay Day annually, noting changes and providing resources and acknowledgement for each group honored on its website at https://women.ca.gov/equal-pay-day-events-information/.
California State Treasurer Fiona Ma weighed in, saying, “Data continuously show that the gender and racial pay gap is real. I applaud the California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls for their effort in highlighting this issue through marking March 9 as AAPI Women Equal Pay Day. Equal work deserves equal pay regardless of the gender or race of the person performing it.”
The Commission seeks to empower and uplift California’s women and girls while pursuing a legislative policy and program agenda designed to combat these inequities. We know that policies that ensure equal pay for all Americans help businesses attract the strongest talent, boost productivity, and benefit our economy.
As Chair of the California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls, Dr. Alisha Wilkins is focused on working with the Commission’s 17 appointed Commissioners to advance greater equality for women and girls inclusive of race and gender. “Today, we acknowledge the critical need for equity for AAPI women, who have been some of the hardest hit by unemployment during the pandemic,” said Wilkins. “Until we have fully transformed our country into one into one that prioritizes the economic security of those women and girls in an equitable fashion, our work is not done, and we cannot begin to truly recover from this crisis.”
The California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls is proud to partner with the Office of the First Partner on the #EqualPayCA campaign which highlights these issues annually to help close the pay gap in California, with a recognition that more work needs to be done to address the wage gap facing women of color in particular. The program challenges businesses to take the Equal Pay Pledge, committing to conducting an annual company-wide gender pay analysis, reviewing hiring and promotion processes and procedures to reduce unconscious bias and structural barriers, and promoting best practices designed to ensure equitable compensation for all workers. To date, over 40 major California employers have taken the pledge, including GAP Inc., Apple, Salesforce, SMUD, and more. To learn more or take the pledge visit www.women.ca.gov.
Communications Director, CCSWG
916 -261-6705 (cell)
About the Commission
For more than 50 years, the California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls has identified and worked to eliminate inequities in state laws, practices, and conditions that affect California’s women and girls. Learn more at www.women.ca.gov.