Gender and race wage gaps are pernicious and persistent. Women—especially Black and brown women—have long worked in essential but undervalued jobs that leave them struggling to support themselves and their families.

Now, women of color are bearing the brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic and recession: as essential workers risking their lives for less pay than their male coworkers; as those who have disproportionately borne devastating job losses; and as those who are shouldering the majority of responsibility for caregiving without necessary supports as our jerry-rigged caregiving infrastructure imploded this past year.

Proactive measures to promote compensation equity, and transparency of pay and demographic data, are especially critical as the COVID-19 pandemic has underscored and exacerbated race and gender inequities and barriers in the workplace.

In these two memoranda, National Women’s Law Center, New America, and Governing For Impact outline executive actions to close gender and race wage gaps and advance equal pay.

Banning Salary History Inquiries and Requiring Transparency in Job Posting Salary Ranges for Federal Contractors

Requiring Federal Contractors to Disclose Compensation Gap Information by Gender, Race, and Ethnicity