May 3, 2022 is Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AAHPI) women’s Equal Pay Day.
This marks the date it takes for these women’s earnings to finally catch up to what white, non-Hispanic men made in 2021 for doing the same work. On average, AANHPI women earn only 75 cents for every dollar that white, non-Hispanic men make.
AAHPIs includes 50+ ethnic subgroups that speak 100+ languages & dialects. Between 2015 and 2019, some AAPI ethnic subgroups earned as low as 52 cents per dollar. Lumping these groups together creates a misleading narrative that all AAPIs are well off and don’t need support.
When each populations is represented statistically, a more complex truth emerges as you can see in the chart below. In reality, many AAPI women struggle to afford necessities including health care and housing because of the gender and racial discrimination that leads to unequal pay (NAPAWF).
Unions, like the IAM, help to narrow and hopefully one day will eliminate the gender wage gap. It has been shown that unions help women receive higher and more fair wages and better benefits, including paid family and medical leave. Constituency groups like the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA) also work tirelessly to help this socioeconomic injustice change. For more information on APALA visit their website at https://www.apalanet.org/.