April 3, 2017

Gender Discrimination

Based on current trends, it would take until 2152 for the wage gap between men and women to disappear.

Currently, women in New York make only 89 cents per every dollar that men make for equal work. This equates to a median salary of $46,203 for women and $52,124 for men. While this is a large pay gap, women in New York are payed well above the average national average when it comes to wage gaps between genders. The United States average shows that women make only 80 cents per dollar that men make. In other words, the average salary of women in the United States is $40,742 versus $51,212 for men.

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The pay gap between men and women is not equal among all races and ethnicity. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, White Non-Hispanic women make just 76 cents per dollar that White Non-Hispanic men earn. Asian women are the highest paid in terms of race groups, however, they make 81 cents per dollar that Asian men make in the United States. The New York average for Asian women is slightly higher at 82 cents per dollar. Women classified as minorities actually experience more equality when it comes to wages, but the overall salaries of minority men and women are significantly lower than those of White and Asian workers. Pay gap appears to increase as overall salary increases. In other words, women’s wages rise at a slower rate than men’s wages.

The interactive graph below shows the pay gap among white, non-Hispanic men and women of varying races in each state.

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Pay gap also varies based on age of workers. Women are paid about 90 cents per dollar that men make from the ages of 16 to 34. This is a nationwide trend, therefore it can be inferred that this ratio is higher for women in New York who are paid above the national average. However, after the age of 34 there is a widening of wage gap until age 64 where women make just 74 cents per dollar that men make. This trend holds for female workers above the age of 64. The wages of men follow the same general shape with respect to age, however this does not justify the gap in wages shown across the country.

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Women who cannot find equity in employment cannot even find equity in self-employment. The interactive graph below shows the feasibility of men versus women becoming self-employed within five years. The value has increased since 2009, but women are still less likely to be able to become self-employed than men.

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Education is thought to be the key to achieving equality, however women with equal levels of education to men still receive less compensation. This is consistent across all levels of education, though college educated women actually experience an even larger pay gap as compared to women who attain lower levels of education. The interactive graph below shows the wages of working age women in the United States compared to working age men at varying education levels.

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Changes to Help Attain Gender Equity

What has been done?

Equal Pay Act of 1963 (EPA)

This act was passed under President John F. Kennedy as a part of his New Frontier Program. It required that men and women be paid equally for equal work. Unfortunately, the law has not been effective in practice given that the wage gap still persists.
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Mayor Bill De Blasio’s Commission

The Commission on Gender Equity (CGE) is an advisory body works with the City to break down barriers for women to achieve gender equality. CGE constructs policies to improve opportunities for females in employment, housing, childcare, education, health and reproductive justice, criminal justice and public safety.

The CGE:

  • Works with the mayor to create policies and initiatives focused on reducing gender-based inequality
  • Advocates for women, girls, transgender and intersex residents to participate fully and fairly in work environments
  • Studies gender inequality and the effect it has on the economic and social status of women in New York
  • Makes recommendations to the Mayor about helpful legislation for establishing gender equality
  • Raises public awareness about women’s issues
  • Supports public and private organizations to open up opportunities for women to advance themselves professionally

For more info about CGE, click here
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Minority and Women-owned Business Enterprise (M/WBE) Program

New York City provides express certification to businesses owned by women and minorities for small construction projects and other related businesses.

By 2025, the City aims to award $16 billion in City contracts to M/WBEs. Currently, the city certifies 4500 minority or women-owned businesses and it plans to double that amount in the next five years.

For more info about this program, click here
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Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment (MOME) Initiatives

  • The MOME Women’s Fund for Film and Theater is set to spend over $5 million in the next five years to fund the completion of female-run film projects
  • Speed-funding for women filmmakers allows 50 female  filmmakers to meet with investors at the MOME Finance Lab Event.
  • The MOME Script-Writing Competition gives any scriptwriter the opportunity to submit a 30-minute pilot script for a television series, based in New York and created by, for or about women. The two winning pilots are features on the NYCLife channel.

For more info about MOME, click here
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Werk is a job marketplace that pre-negotiates flexibility into job opportunities so that women who have maternal responsibilities can works on a schedule that suits them and are able to make accommodations based on unforeseen events without having to worry about negative ramifications on their career.


  • Women are paid less than men
  • Women experience less advancement in their
  • Women are more likely to stop working after having children
  • Women have a disproportionate responsibility for caregiving


  • Negotiate flexibility with employers before posting job positions so employees don’t have to
  • Offer jobs with control over time and place of work
  • Give workers freedom to adjust schedule no questions asked

Important Factors to Consider:

  • Highest paying jobs also have the most gender inequality
  • 70% women and 48% men consider flexibility as very important

For more info about Werk, click here
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What should we do?


Companies should conduct routine salary audits to monitor gender-based pay discrepancies. This makes it possible to prevent prolonged inequity and identify unfair pay trends.


Women should learn strategies to advocate for themselves when it comes to salary, job advancement, and benefits. They must have an active voice in improving their position.

Policy makers

Policy makers should work to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act proposed by former President Barrack Obama to expand on the original Equal Pay Act of 1963. The proposed bill has more stringent guidelines about regulating wages and prevents workers from being punished for raising questions about wage inequality.
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