Though women earn college degrees at a higher rate than men do, research shows that more women, especially women of color, are still stuck in low-paying jobs. According to the National Women's Law Center, women of color account for 17 percent of the overall workforce, but make up 33 percent of some of the fastest-growing low-wage jobs like retail, fast food, personal care aides and home health aides. This means that women of color are over-represented in jobs that pay the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.
The disparity is even greater for African-American women, whose share of the fastest-growing low-wage jobs is 2.6 times their share of the overall workforce. "In general, there are things firms can do and the government can do, like raising minimum wage and improving discrimination policies," says Gould.
Research shows that white job applicants receive 36 percent more callbacks than equally qualified African-Americans, and 24 percent more callbacks than Latinos. A poll by NPR found that one-third of Native Americans say they have experienced discrimination when looking for a job, getting a promotion or earning equal pay.
Lisa Crooms-Robinson, Professor of Law & Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at Howard University, says that much of this discrimination and unfair treatment can be linked to women of color being locked out of leadership and decision-making positions. A 2018 report shows that less than 1 percent of Silicon Valley tech leadership positions are held by Latinx women, and less than 0.5 percent are held by black women.