Equal Pay Day: Women in Iowa make less than men across ethnicities

Today is equal pay day, a day to bring attention to the pay gap between men and women. Nationally, women earn 77 cents for every dollar a man makes.

In Iowa, that number is 76 cents for white women, 59 cents for African American women, 57 cents for Latina women, and 52 cents for Indigenous women, according to the report Status of Women in the States.

Progress Iowa, a political advocacy organization, believes efforts to address the pay gap should be made in the Iowa legislature, but so far there has been no action on the issue.

“At our current pace, Iowa women won’t achieve pay equity until the year 2062, which for me means it won’t happen until I’m at retirement age.” said  Lauren McElmeel, Progress Iowa’s Digital Director.

“Women are the primary or co-breadwinners in the vast majority of Iowa families, and the pay gap plays a significant role in why Iowa remains a low-wage state.”

In Iowa, nearly a third of women work in low-wage jobs, the USDA reports that more than 30 percent of single mothers are food insecure, and the average woman in Iowa could buy 80 more weeks of groceries each year if the wage gap was closed.