It might be nearly spring, but Asian American women’s salaries are just catching up to what white, non-Hispanic men made last year. Compared to their white, non-Hispanic male counterparts, Asian American women working full time, year round typically are only paid 84 cents for every dollar.
Marking our Equal Pay Day is not as clear cut as you might think, though. Here are five things you need to know about the complex picture for Asian American women and the wage gap:
1. Certain Asian American women have it harder
The wage gap affects subgroups of Asian American women differently. For example, Chinese American women do not experience a wage gap compared to their white, non-Hispanic male counterparts, but Vietnamese American women have a larger wage gap than Asian American women overall. They make only 62 percent of what white, non-Hispanic men make.
2. Education makes a difference
Though Asian American women experience a wage gap at every education level, the gap is smallest for those with the most education. For example, an Asian American woman without a high school degree typically makes only 73 cents for every dollar a white, non-Hispanic man without a high school degree makes – but among those with a BA or more this figure is 80 cents.
3. Older Asian Americans have a larger wage gap
The wage gap for younger women is far smaller than it is for older women. Younger Asian American women (those between the ages of 25-44 years old) make 98 cents for every dollar white, non-Hispanic men make, but for older women this difference is far larger. Asian American women ages 45-64 make only 68 cents for every dollar white, non-Hispanic men make and this figure sadly drops to 53 cents to every dollar for Asian American women over 64 years old
4. Across occupations, Asian American women experience a wage gap
In a variety of occupations – including those that are male-dominated and those that are female-dominated – Asian American women still face a wage gap. For example, Asian American women working as physicians and surgeons get unequal pay – making 54 cents for every dollar paid to their white, non-Hispanic male counterparts. Even in low-wage jobs Asian American women still face a wage gap: among personal care aides, Asian American women make just 88 cents for every dollar paid to their white, non-Hispanic male counterparts.
5. The wage gap for Asian American women is not breaking news
Sadly, this news is in fact not news at all. Asian American women have experienced a wage gap for decades. And though there has been some progress in closing the wage gap for Asian American women, it’s been far too slow. In fact, the gap is only just over 15 cents less than it was a quarter of a century ago.
Over the course of a 40-year career, Asian American women typically lose $365,440 to the wage gap — which means Asian American women would have to work nearly 48 years to make what white, non-Hispanic men make in 40 years. Forget about being unfair, it’s just downright depressing.
But things can change when more people know the facts. So mark today by sharing these facts with your family and friends on Twitter using #AsAmEqualPay.