Kamala Harris Debuts Plan to End Gender Wage Gap

By N. Jamiyla Chisholm May 21, 2019

Senator Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) introduced a new plan yesterday (May 20) to close the gender pay gap, should she become president.



Calling the plan the most “aggressive equal pay proposal in history,” the official site shares a string of disheartening statistics surrounding women in the workforce. For example, whereas full-time working American women make 80 cents on average compared to every dollar by men, “Black women are typically paid 61 cents, Native American women 58 cents and [Latinx] just 53 cents for every dollar paid to White, [non-Latinx] men,” according to a recent report by the National Partnership for Women and Families.

A 2017 study from the National Women’s Law Center, showed that because lifetime wage loss totals $840,040 for Black women and $1,043,800 for Latinx women, “Black and [Latinx] women would have to work well into their ’80s and ’90s, respectively—past Social Security’s full retirement age and even beyond their life expectancy—in order to catch up to what White, [non-Latinx] men make by age 60.”

Emphasizing that she would take executive action and not wait for Congress to act, Harris unveiled her five-step strategy for how she would make corporations accountable to equality for 28 million workers:


Companies will be required to obtain an “Equal Pay Certification” and prove they’re not paying women less than men for work of equal value.


Companies will be fined 1 percent of their profits for every 1 percent wage gap they allow to persist for work of equal value.


Companies will be required to disclose whether they are “Equal Pay Certified” on the homepage of their websites.


Fines will be invested in building on universal paid family and medical leave.


To ensure equality in all workplaces, we’ll overhaul anti-discrimination laws and expand investigations of complaints to secure justice for victims of discrimination.

Read the full proposal here.