The focus of pay disparity has been of gender, it turns out that pay disparity transverse gender and is much more affected by color.
The 2016 WRITERS GUILD OF AMERICA REPORT on pay gap found that white men earned a median of $133,500 in 2014, whereas women collectively made a median of $118,293 and non-white writers even less: $100,649, Asian writers collectively earned a median of $115,817; black writers $99,440 and Latino writers $84,200. The median earnings for Native American writers were $152,500.
A study by the UK Trade Trade Union Congress suggests there was a 23% gap in hourly pay between black and white university graduates. Black people with A-levels were paid 14% less on average than white workers with equivalent qualifications, while those with GCSEs faced a deficit of 11%.
The HOLLYWOOD REPORTER wrote that perceptions that “black projects” don’t play overseas, and Asian- and other minority-led projects don’t perform domestically, contribute to lowballing.
Hence, color based lowballing perverse right across the spectrum of income, from low to high-income jobs and affect every industry.
The effect of lowballing is worse if the person at the receiving end is both person of color and a female, so the story of Octavia Spencer, a black American actress drives the point home.
Thanks to Jessica Chastain, a white, fellow actress who stood up for Octavia and ensure she is paid the same as her, by so doing upped Octavia’s pay five times what she would have earned without Jessica’s intervention.
This can be looked at in one of two ways- First, Octavia Spencer is a victim of discrimination based on color compounded by gender or second, Jessica Chastain is a beneficiary of White privilege, although she is probably a victim of pay disparity of her own based on gender.
In any case, it reflects a rotten system, but still, qudos to Jessica Chastain for standing up for what is right.
The struggle is real for people of color in the Western World