Happy Equal Pay Day, American women. Yes, that’s right—you’ve now worked enough days into 2021 to earn the same as men in 2020. This is not a celebration—it is a tragedy. Our own 2020 benchmark study showed that the overall gap for women in commercial real estate in total compensation was 34%—an 11% increase in the gap since 2015 [shaking my head in dismay].
The basic stats tell the story:
Women in the U.S. earn 82 cents for every dollar that (white, non-Hispanic) men make
It currently takes women 15 months to earn what men earn in a year
In a typical 9 to 5 workday, women begin working for free at 2:40 p.m.
You did not know that you were working for free after 2:40 p.m. every day, did you?
Although Asian American/Pacific Islander women earn a few cents above the average, the disparity seen among women when broken down into ethnicity is even more disheartening:
Asian American/Pacific Islander women – March 9, 2021 (85 cents)
Black women – August 3, 2021 (63 cents)
Native American women – September 8, 2021 (60 cents)
- Latina women – October 21, 2021 (55 cents)
Enough! It is way past time for companies to conduct pay parity studies and address this disparity directly with data and facts. Companies are doing it and succeeding. A few well-known examples are Starbucks, Salesforce and Adobe, all featured in our 2018 research paper, Achieving Pay Parity in Commercial Real Estate.
What does it take, you ask? Commitment and action are the key to making change. Leaders have the power to close the gap and create equal pay for equal work.
I don’t know about you, but next year, I’d like to work the requisite 12 months that men work for the same pay.
Equal Pay Day is a call to action. Let’s commit to taking action now.
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Wendy Mann is the chief executive officer of Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) Network and president of the CREW Network Foundation.