It’s 2017 and AAPI Women Still Aren’t Getting Equal Pay for Equal Work | #AAPIEqualPay

March 7, 2017
Screen capture of video for AAPI Equal Pay Day. (Photo credit: NAPAWF)

Today is AAPI Equal Pay Day, a day to highlight the persistent wage gap experienced by AAPI women, transgender, and non-binary people. In fact, even though the AAPI community is the fastest-growing racial community in America, AAPI women continue to make only 85 cents to the dollar a White, non-Hispanic man of comparable education earns.

Over the course of a lifetime, that can translate to nearly half a million dollars in lost income for AAPI women compared to White male co-workers. In fact, an AAPI woman has to achieve a master’s degree or higher just to be paid the same wage as a White man who has earned a bachelor’s degree. Alternatively, AAPI women must work on average an extra two months to receive the same annual income as a White man.

Average annual income for Asian American women and White men, compared to educational attainment. (Photo credit: NWLC)

When examining the in-race wage gap, the statistics are even more dire. Within the AAPI community, AAPI women make only about 80 cents to the dollar AAPI men earn. This translates to the largest in-group gender wage gap across all races or ethnicities.

An infographic about AAPI Equal Pay Day created by NAPAWF.

The wage gap for AAPI women stands firm regardless of profession. The National Women’s Law Center reports that Asian American women labourers earn 76 cents to the dollar of their White male co-workers. Asian American women customer service representatives earn 84 cents to the dollar. Asian American women physicians and surgeons earn 54 cents to the dollar.

Disaggregation of wage data reveal an even more complex picture, with women of some AAPI ethnic groups earning as little as 38 cents to the dollar paid to a White man.

Indeed, these statistics remind us that the Model Minority Myth obscures very real, and very complicated, income disparities within the AAPI community. While the average household income for the AAPIs is higher than that of Whites, the poverty rate is also significantly higher — and rising — among AAPIs. In particular, senior poverty rates are higher for AAPI elders compared to the overall population. For older AAPI women, this is due at least in part to the wage gap widening with age: among women aged 45-64, AAPI women earn 68 cents to the dollar White men earn. For women aged 65+, the wage gap falls by another 15 cents. Meanwhile, AAPI transgender people have a poverty rate six times that of the general AAPI community, with 18% reporting a household income of less than $10,000 a year.

Asian American wages, by ethnicity, as compared to White, non-Hispanic men. (Photo credit: AAUW)

According to a recent election even poll, 87% of Asian Americans believe that women should receive equal pay for equal work. It’s time for us to demand equal pay for AAPI women, transgender and non-binary people, and for all people of colour. It’s time we demand passage of federal laws for equal pay, such as the Paycheck Fairness Act. We must also work to protect the Affordable Care Act, which provides healthcare coverage to 1 in 15 Asian Americans, many of whom are low-income, immigrant women.

Today, AAPI groups such as the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF) are hosting a Twitterstorm at #AAPIEqualPay. Join the conversation now and check out this simple guide to learn more.

Did you like this content? Please consider becoming a patron of Reappropriate and get exclusive access to the brand new Reappropriate vlog!

Comment Policy

Before posting, please review the following guidelines:

  • No ad hominem attacks: A person's identity, personal history, or background is not up for debate. Talk about ideas, not people.
  • Be courteous: Respect everyone else in this space.
  • Present evidence: This space endeavours to encourage academic and rational debate around identity politics. Do your best to build an argument backed not just with your own ideas, but also with science.
  • Don't be pedantic: Listen to those debating you not just for places to attack, but also where you might learn and even change your own opinion. Repeatedly arguing the same point irrespective of presented counterfacts will now be considered a violation of this site's comment policy.
  • Respect the humanity of all groups: To elevate the quality of debate, this site will no longer tolerate (racial, cultural, gender, etc.) supremacist or inferiority lines of argumentation. There are other places on the internet where nationalist arguments can be expressed; this blog is not those places.
  • Don't be an asshole: If you think your behaviour would get you punched in the face outside of the internets, don't say it on the internets.
  • Don't abuse Disqus features: Don't upvote your own comments. Don't flag other people's comments without reasonable cause. Basically, don't try to game the system. You are not being slick.

Is your comment not approved, unpublished, or deleted? Here are some common reasons why:

  • Did you sign in? You are required to register an account with Disqus or one of your social media accounts in order to comment.
  • Did your comment get caught in the spam filter? Disqus is set to automatically detect and filter out spam comments. Sometimes, its algorithm gets over-zealous, particularly if you post multiple comments in rapid succession, if your comment contains keywords often associated with spam, and/or if your comment contains multiple links. If your comment has been erroneously caught in the spam filter, contact me and I will retrieve it.
  • Did a comment get flagged? Comments will be default be published but flagged comments will be temporarily removed from view until they are reviewed by me.
  • Did you not play nice? You may have gotten banned and a bunch of your comments may have been therefore deleted. Sorry.

I monitor all comment threads, and try to address comments requiring moderation within 24-48 hours. Comments that violate this comment policy may receive a warning and removal of offensive content; overt or repeat violations are subject to deletion and/or banning of comment authors without warning.

I reserve final decision over how this comment policy will be enforced.

Summary:

Play nice and don't be a jerk, and you'll do just fine.