Task Force Building Path to Gender Equity


On April 4, Equal Pay Day, the California Pay Equity Task Force released its first report on the efforts to build a path toward gender pay equity for women workers.

“We’re taking steps toward closing the gap, but we have more work to do to achieve full pay equity,” said Tamekia N. Robinson, SEIU Local 1000 Vice President for Organizing/Representation and a member of the Task Force.

The initial report announces tools for employers and employees to pursue pay equity. The goals include proactive employer compliance and helping employees know their rights under the law.

According to the Task Force report, the pay disparity between women and men in California stands at 80 percent. That gap worsens for women of color, with Latinas and black women making 54 percent and 63 percent of white men’s earnings, respectively.

The wage gap is a harsh reality for women, regardless of education or work experience and only gets worse as women’s careers progress. The wage gap typically translates into $10,000 per year in lost earnings for women.

While equal pay laws have been the law for more than 50 years, progress in achieving pay equity has been grim. Based on the advances made over those same 50 years, it’s projected that true pay equality won’t happen until 2059.

The California Pay Equity Task Force was formed after the California Fair Pay Act took effect in 2016. While California’s pay gap laws are recognized as among the nation’s strongest, pay equity is a systemic, national issue and has a real impact on the economic well-being of working families.