April 10 is Equal Pay Day for all women, so let’s sit down and stare at our old friend the gender wage gap until emotional alchemy turns our sadness to rage.
Equal Pay Day exists precisely because the actual concept of equal pay doesn’t. Women are paid less than men for the same work. The reason it takes place on some Tuesday in April is because that’s how far into the following year a woman would have to work to make what her male colleague did the previous year.
On average, the difference between being a working man in this country and being a working woman in this country is the difference between Dec. 31 and April 10.
Exactly how much less than men women are paid depends on where you are. According to a state-by-state analysis by the National Partnership for Women and Families, women working full time in Minnesota get 83 cents for every dollar paid to a man based on median income.
That may not seem like much. Who would quibble over 17 cents? It’s technically the 12th-smallest gender pay gap in the country -- which somebody should consider putting on a postcard for women visiting from states like Louisiana and Utah. The two bottomed out on the list for the worst gender pay gaps, where women make $15,000 less on average than men.
But at the median income rate, that 17 cents adds up over the course of a year to over $9,000.
By now, you might be feeling a little annoyed about this, but the worst part is that it sucks way more for women of color. If you’re a black woman, you’re probably missing out on a little over $22,300 a year. If you’re Latina, it’s nearly $26,000 a year. If you’re Asian: $15,800. That’s why there’s an Asian Women’s Equal Pay Day on Feb. 22. And a Black Women’s Equal Pay Day on Aug. 7. And a Native Women’s Equal Pay Day on Sept. 27.
If you want to make the most cents on the man’s dollar, the best place to do it is Hennepin County, where women on average make 91 cents for every buck.
And you might stay away from the 8th congressional district in the northeast part of the state, where you take the worst cut: 76 cents.
All together, women in Minnesota earn nearly $14 billion less than men in Minnesota each year.