SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – This International Women’s Day, 22News is celebrating women’s achievements and raising awareness about ongoing discrimination.

This day comes at a time when more still needs to be done to build gender equality. In fact, this year’s theme is ‘Embrace Equity’ and Wednesday night new numbers shed light on where our state stands when it comes to the gender pay gap.

“When you say ‘No’ that’s what sparks the change.”

Donyel Lenoir Felton of Springfield

Saying ‘No’ to gender discrimination, and ‘yes’ to embracing equity, especially within the workplace is exactly what many are doing this International Women’s Day.

“Just having more women in different areas, I am also in the IT world, and being in that field, 9 times out of 10 I am the only woman,” adds Felton.

The gender pay gap is still a major obstacle for women across the country. National data indicating while it has narrowed overall since the 1980s, the gap has remained unchanged for the past 20 years.

According to the Census Bureau, in 2021, the gender pay gap varied by level of education.
It was at its greatest for women with a lower than a high school diploma and the smallest for women with a bachelor’s degree.

Nationwide wide on average, working women earn 84% of what their male counterparts earn. Massachusetts women overall make roughly about 85 cents for every dollar a man makes. Black women in the state are about 58 cents and Latin women are about 53 cents.

“COVID, in terms of women of color and service workers, that pay gap became even wider, so we have to end this,” said Dr. Demetria Shabazz, Scholar.

“I think we need to pass the equal rights amendment for women, giving women equal rights and pay, so there is ‘parity’ across the board and an even playing field as we compete with males in our society,” expressed Marybeth Bergeron, Longmeadow Adult Community Center Fund, President.

The Equal Rights Amendment is a proposed amendment to the United States Constitution designed to guarantee equal legal rights for all American citizens regardless of sex, it is ratified here in Massachusetts, but several states still have yet to ratify it.