The Vermont Commission on Women (VCW) joins organizations nationwide in drawing attention to Equal Pay Day each year. Equal Pay Day symbolizes how far into this year women must work to catch up to what the average white non-Hispanic man earned in the previous year.
The Commission is premiering a new video podcast series, the first of which launches today, March 9th, Equal Pay Day for Asian American and Pacific Islander women. Guests on this first podcast include Bor Yang, director of the Vermont Human Rights Commission and Senator Kesha Ram. The conversation is introduced by the VCW's executive director Cary Brown and moderated by the Commission's chair Lisa Senecal.
Based on median earnings for full-time, year-round workers, Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) women are paid 85 cents for every dollar paid to white non-Hispanic men. While AAPI Equal Pay Day is earlier in the year than other Equal Pay Days, the average AAPI woman would still need to work until March 9th, more than 2 months extra, to earn what the average white, non-Hispanic man made in the previous year. While that’s true, it’s also true that the AAPI population is far from monolithic, and for many of its diverse communities, the wage gap is much, much larger. (Un)Equal Pay Days would fall toward the end of the year for Vietnamese women (at $0.67 to the dollar), for Hmong women (at $0.61 to the dollar) and for Nepalese women (at $0.54 to the dollar).
With these video podcast conversations, VCW hopes to raise awareness about pay equity, and the ways racism, sexism, homophobia, and ableism intersect, creating much larger wage gaps for women of color, members of the LGBTQ+ community, and women living with disabilities. Another goal of the project is to listen to women about their experiences with pay inequity, how it impacts them, and what they think could help.