A newly released report shows California companies still have glaring compensation disparities related to gender, race, and ethnicity. The information, collected by a state civil rights agency, says women and people of color are among the lowest paid workers.
The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) released the data on April 12 pursuant a state law requiring private companies employing more than 100 workers to reveal compensation data. The businesses must break down the information into job types, racial, ethnic and gender categories.
Women still earn far less than their male counterparts
While California’s workforce is roughly even between women and men, women are far less likely to earn more. Of the state’s higher-paid workers earning over $128,960 per year:
- 64% are men
- 36% are women
The opposite is true on the other side of the pay scale spectrum. Of employees earning $30,769 or less per year:
- 55% are women
- 45% are men
The data shows women are overrepresented in lower-paying sales, administration, and service positions. Men tend to earn more in senior-level positions as managers and executives. The DFEH also plans to release pay information on those who identify as nonbinary.
Pay levels by race and ethnicity
The study also shows stark gaps between white and Asian employees compared to Hispanic, Latino, Black and African American employees. For workers making $30,679 or less per year:
- 50% are Hispanic or Latino
- 25% are white
- 10% are Asian
- 8% are Black or African American
The disparity is even worse for workers in higher pay brackets, specifically, those earning $128,960 or more a year. Only 9% of Hispanic or Latino workers and 3% of Black or African Americans reach that threshold. White employees fill more than half of the category while the rest, about one-third, are Asian. To add some perspective, out of the 6.3 million workers included in the report, 37% are classified as Latino or Hispanic, 34% white, 18% Asian and 6% Black or African American.
Companies need to reassess compensation practices
The DFEH says the report shows that California employers need to review their employment practices and pay structures to ensure that all workers have equal opportunities in the workplace. The agency pledges to “vigorously enforce” the state’s anti-discrimination and equal pay laws.