Native Women's Equal Pay Day

Data from the National Women’s Law Center shows that Native American women’s wages have dropped to just 51 cents for every dollar paid to White, non-Hispanic men. 

Native American Women Can't Wait For Equal Pay

Native American women are typically paid only 51 cents for every dollar paid to white, non-Hispanic men. 

Equal Pay for Native American Women

According to Equal Pay Today, based on 2021 earnings data, Native Women working full time year-round and part time earn approximately 51 cents on the dollar of White, non-Hispanic men. For Native women working full time, year-round they only earn 57 cents. Native Women’s Equal Pay Day is the day we raise awareness Native women must work into the new year to make what white men made at the end of last year. Native Women’s Equal Pay Day is recognized in November, because November is National Native American Heritage month, though the rate of pay would be in December.

“Native American women are on the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis; nearly three in ten Native American women (29%) work in a front-line job. As a result, they are disproportionately affected by the pandemic’s health and economic impacts. Native American women are overrepresented in many of the occupations feeling the brunt of COVID-related job loss. Lost earnings due to the gender wage gap are exacerbating the effects of COVID-19 for Native American women — and for the families who depend on their income—leaving them without a financial cushion to weather this crisis.” –  National Women’s Law Center

The Data

According to data by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, there are many reasons for the wage gap. Native women are often concentrated in low wage occupations, are less likely than women in other racial/ethnic groups to be covered by a union contract, and experience almost double the unemployment rate of other women. These problems may be compounded by or symptomatic of gender and racial discrimination.

Photo credit: American Indian Cultural District San Francisco


According to data by the National Women’s Law Center, in 2021 Native women lost forty-three cents on the dollar – this adds up. For Native American women, more than one in five of whom live below the poverty line, the wage gap costs them $2,055 each month, $24,656 a year, and a staggering $986,240 over the course of a 40-year career.

This gap has only widened as the pandemic wears on, with the new gap being significantly wider at a loss of forty-nine cents on the dollar in 2022. Learn more in the fact sheets below.



According to data by LeanIn.Org, Native American women and girls face higher rates of violence and right now, are 3.5 times more likely to be infected with COVID-19 than White people in the U.S. The pay gap exacerbates existing inequities – nearly three in five Native American women (58%) are breadwinners for their families who are all impacted. Learn more in the reports below.

Graphic by LeanIn.Org