As Women’s History Month comes to an end, we at the Racial Wealth Divide Initiative think it is important to reflect upon how racial economic inequality intersects with gender economic inequality. Overall, women earn lower wages and experience higher levels of poverty than men. This holds for Black and Latina women, who also earn lower wages and experience higher poverty rates than White and Asian women. Most women of color face a double disparity: having lower socio-economic outcomes than men, compounded by affiliation with a racial or ethnic group that — whether male or female — has much lower socio-economic indicators than their White counterparts.
Education is one area where women in all major racial and ethnic groups outperform men. Whether Latina, Black, White or Asian American, women’s college graduation rates are between five to 10 percentage points higher than men’s. However, superior education outcomes for women do not lead to superior incomes. Even with a higher likelihood of college education, the median income of all women is only 83 percent of that earned by men.
This gendered income inequality varies within different racial groups. Asian American and White women, who are more likely to come from higher income backgrounds, earn at about 80 percent of Asian American and White men’s income. Latina and African American women, who are more likely to come from lower income communities, make about 90 percent of what Latino and Black men make.