The gender wage gap for women of color is even wider in New York City than across the nation, according to a report released on Monday by the city's public advocate Letitia James.
Women in New York City earn $5.8 billion less than men annually, according to the report, and the gap particularly effects women of color. Hispanic women earn 54% less than white men (compared to 46% nationally), Black women earn 45% less (36% less nationally), and Asian women earn 37% less (14% less nationally).
Though the overall wage gap of 9% is lower than the national average of 21%—possibly thanks to high-paying finance jobs in the city—racial disparity is significantly worse in New York, according to the public advocate.
Women in public sector jobs also earn 18% less than their male counterparts. “There is simply no excuse for women to be paid less than men,” James told reporters. “The very government that is supposed to protect our equal rights is the worst culprit of them all.”
The report suggests that the city should form an Equitable Pay and Opportunity Task Force to look at pay in public sector jobs specifically. "New York City’s wages and policies have failed to keep pace with women’s advancement in the workforce," the report reads.
It also calls for city contractors to publicly disclose how much they pay their employees, and for a ban on public employers asking job applicants about their previous salaries–which can keep women on a lower pay scale throughout their working lives. It also encourages private employers to stop asking for that information.