In Florida, nearly 980,000 families are provided for by a female breadwinner.
As family dynamics change throughout the state and nation, female workers are taking a stronger position in putting food on the table, paying rent and providing for the needs of their families.
However, even while these changes take place, the statewide pay for women continues to remain below the pay amount provided to male workers holding the same job.
A new equal pay study came out that revealed the gender wage gap costs women workers in Florida nearly $17 million and that, on average, a female worker will be paid $.85 to every $1 that a man earns – a dollar difference that amounts to a heavy annual loss.
While 85 cents is bad, it gets even worse for women workers of color.
To every dollar that a white, non-Hispanic male worker will earn, an African American female in the same workforce can be expected to earn $.61, a Latina woman could earn $.59 and an Asian woman would earn $.74.
It is not a gap to be taken lightly.
It is estimated that, if the average paycheck for male and female workers was equal, women could afford more food of better nutritional value, five months more of mortgage and utilities and more than six months of rent annually.
As it is, 29 percent of the Florida families where a woman provides for her family are beneath the poverty line. Equal pay for Florida’s female workers would help strengthen the economy and add to the financial security of the state and the families that live within it.
Florida is not alone in this paycheck problem; every state and 98 percent of the country’s congressional districts also have a wage gap setbacks. Mothers who work in the United States to provide for their families make up nearly 40 percent of families.
“At a time when women’s wages are so critical to the economic well-being of families, the country is counting on lawmakers to work together to advance the fair and family friendly workplace policies that would promote equal pay,” said Debra Ness, president of National Partnership for Woman and Families.
Currently before Congress is the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would protect employees of all genders against retaliation for discussing salaries with colleagues, recognize excellence in pay practices and provide assistance to businesses of all sizes that need help with their equal pay practices amongst other matters.
Slowly, the pay rate gaps provided to women in the United States is closing, but at the current rate, it would not be equal to the paychecks provided to male workers in the United States until 2059… women and families in the nation cannot afford that wait.
“We need Congress to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act, which is a common sense proposal that has languished for much too long,” said Ness.
For more information about the wage gap, visit nationalpartnership.org/gap to read articles and research wage gap averages in each state.