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Equal Pay Day Is Different This Year

By Sallie Krawcheck

It feels like forever ago, but we started the month by recognizing Women’s History Month. On March 8, I wrote about the time gap women face because of the child and family care we do. I didn’t mention the coronavirus at all. It hadn’t changed our lives yet.

The conversation has changed so much in a month, in many ways.

Certainly equal pay doesn’t seem as pressing when so many people are worried about getting paid in general. But we don’t want to lose the train of thought — because downturns tend to have a greater negative effect on people with less privilege.

For example, if women had less time than men before, how about now, with kids home from school?

Women also have less cushion to absorb economic shocks: Women are 36% more likely to be poor already than men, and more than 60% of minimum-wage and part-time workers are women.

So women go into downturns in worse shape.

Then, when companies have downsized in the past, diversity has been deprioritized, negatively impacting women and people of color even further.

So women are in worse shape going into a downturn and lose ground coming out of a downturn, not fully benefiting from the expansion that follows.

Oof.

I love that the new stimulus package takes aim at the pink tax by (finally) allowing menstrual products to be paid for using health savings accounts (HSAs) and flexible spending accounts (FSAs).

Senators, can we push this further by passing the Paycheck Fairness Act? Isn’t it time? If not for women, then as a boost to the economy on the other side of this? After all, only good things happen when we get more money in the hands of women. (For those interested, you can sign the petition here.)

A couple more thoughts:

  • Thank you to our healthcare workers and to the workers who are risking their health to deliver essential services to all of us. None of us can say thank you enough.

  • Today is also the Trans Day of Visibility. The same issues that can affect women also affect members of the trans population — in some cases, more so — and trans folk also face extra physical and financial risk from the current pandemic. You can learn more here.

  • We at Ellevest are committed to answering all of your money questions. And we’re not just saying it. Shoot over any questions for us to questions@ellevest.com; you’ll get a personal answer and you can read answers to other (anonymized) questions here.


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Sallie Krawcheck

Sallie Krawcheck is the Co-Founder & CEO of Ellevest. Her life’s mission is to help women to reach their financial and professional goals.