Here’s Elizabeth Warren’s plan to close the wage gap for women of color

"It’s time to build an America that recognizes the role that women of color play in their families and in the economy."

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Image credit: WOCinTech Chat/Flickr

Presidential candidate Senator Elizabeth Warren has released her plan to close the wage gap that women of color face in the workplace.

Titled “Valuing the work of Women of Color”, Warren’s article announcing her plan was published last week on Medium.

“I have a new plan: a set of executive actions I will take on day one of the Warren Administration to boost wages for women of color and open up new pathways to the leadership positions they deserve,” writes Warren.

Part of Warren’s plan includes denying federal contracts to companies and contracts with historically poo records on diversity and equality. Warren also plans to ban companies that want federal contracts from using forced arbitration and non-compete clauses that restrict workers’ rights.

Companies with federal contracts employ nearly a quarter of the U.S. workforce.

“By imposing new rules on companies that hope to receive federal contracts, we can take a big step towards creating equal opportunities for Black, Latina, Native American, Asian and other women of color,” writes Warren.

Warren’s plan also calls for banning contractors from asking applicants for past salary information and criminal history. As far as benefits go, Warren will make it so that federal contractors must offer at least a $15 minimum wage and benefits, including paid family leave, fair scheduling, and collective bargaining rights to all employees.

The plan also calls for more women of color in senior ranks of the federal government. Although Latinas and Black women are disproportionately represented in the federal workforce they are not equally represented in leadership roles. White workers make up 80% of the senior civil service but only 63$ of the overall federal workforce.

Warren also plans to issue “first-of-its-kind guidance” on enforcing claims involving discrimination that women of color face.

“It’s time to build an America that recognizes the role that women of color play in their families and in the economy, that fairly values their work, and that delivers equal opportunity for everyone,” concludes Warren.

Despite the fact that Black and Brown women have more caregiving responsibilities (they spend 50% more hours a week on caregiving than white caregivers), more than 70% of Black mothers and more than 40% of Latina mothers are their families’ sole breadwinners. Yet in 2017 Black women were paid 61 cents to every dollar white men made, Native women made 58 cents, and Latinas just 53 cents – and the gap continues to grow.

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