New York City’s recent council report on pay equity finds that women, Black and Latino city employees are still the most chronically underpaid.
“Pay disparities for women and people of color remain a persistent issue in our city and country, hampering economic opportunities,” said Speaker Adrienne Adams. “The inequities for Black women are particularly striking, with our making 58 cents for every dollar earned by a white man. These disparities are not just unfair, but also harmful to our economy and communities.”
The 2022 pay equity report found that there’s still a large pay gap between Black, Latino, and white employees as well as between male and female employees, which was highlighted in the 2021 pay equity report.
The data shows that ‘non-white employees’ and women predominantly occupy civil service roles with the lowest salaries. Fewer of either group are in higher positions to be paid more, contributing to “occupational segregation.” In fact, as the proportion of female employees increases, the salary generally decreases, said the report.
Women on average make $.73 to every dollar men make, Black employees make $.71 to every dollar white employees make, Hispanic or Latino employees make $.75 to every dollar white employees make, and Asian employees make $.85 to every dollar white employees make, said the report.
“The facts speak for themselves and prove what we have known all along, which was confirmed by our successful lawsuit against the City of New York for pay discrimination,” said CWA Local 1180 President Gloria Middleton in a statement. “Women and minorities are severely short-changed in New York City when it comes to both salaries and paths for advancement. Gender and race have absolutely no place in the promotional or salary determination processes.”
Middleton said it is incumbent upon the city to take the bold steps necessary to create equality for all in the workforce, especially considering many women and minorities are heads of their households.
The city council proposed three new bills that would require city agencies to report data on pay disparity, occupational segregation, recruitment, and retention efforts. It also amends and expands parts of Pay Equity Law 18 of 2019 to provide new categories of information and data on employment year-round.
“The fight for gender and racial pay equity is a global dilemma that has persisted for far too long, and our women-majority City Council is continuing to push progress to close the gap in our city,” said Councilmember Carmen De La Rosa. “Effectively addressing the roots of these disparities begins with data, which was the aim of the Pay Equity Law. Despite the great strides and attempts to mitigate the gap, the second round of findings demonstrates that disparities remain.”
Ariama C. Long is a Report for America corps member and writes about culture and politics in New York City for The Amsterdam News. Your donation to match our RFA grant helps keep her writing stories like this one; please consider making a tax-deductible gift of any amount today by visiting: https://tinyurl.com/fcszwj8w