Equal Pay Now

Women's Equal Pay Days 2021
At news organizations across the country, women and people of color are paid less than their coworkers doing the same job. In fact, as a group, women in the U.S. had to work through most of March 2021 to catch up to men’s earnings for 2020. For women of color, it takes even longer. Women's Equal Pay Day is set for March 24. Asian Women's Equal Pay Day will be observed March 9. Black Women's Equal Pay Day is Aug. 3. Native Women's Equal Pay Day is Sept. 8. Latina Equal Pay Day is Oct. 21.

NewsGuild members are standing together for transparency and equal pay for all.
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Equal Pay Brochure PDF
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$10,194 — The DIFFERENCE in MEDIAN SALARIES between men & women in 2018
$800,000 — LIFETIME WAGES LOST by college-educated women compared to equally qualified men

What is Equal Pay Day?1

Equal Pay Days symbolize the fact that women in the U.S. must work well into 2021 to catch up to men's earnings for 2020. Women's Equal Pay Day will be marked on March 24. For women of color, it takes even longer:

  • Asian women - March 9
  • Black women - Aug. 3
  • Native women - Sept. 8
  • Latinas - Oct. 21
People of color, both men and women, earn less on average than their white counterparts.

In News Organizations Across the Country, The Pay Gap is Real

NewsGuild studies conducted over the last several years show that disparities in pay are rampant at publications across the country: Women and people of color earn less on average than their counterparts – even at the most prestigious publications.

Take a look at the shocking wage gap at the Wall Street Journal:

Melanie Burney

"“I was shocked and disappointed to learn that I was being paid less than some of my white colleagues. I turned my anger into action, and I am now on a mission with The NewsGuild to fight for pay equity for journalists of color and women in newsrooms around the country. I will not be silent on a defining civil rights issue. I encourage those who believe in fairness and justice to stand with me. "

-- Melanie Burney, Reporter, The Philadelphia Inquirer

Daniela Altimari

 “After we organized our union, we received records that confirmed what I had long suspected: I was the lowest paid person on my team – and the only woman. I used the information to negotiate a five-figure raise. Had we not organized, I wouldn’t have been able to do that.”

Daniela Altimari, Politics Reporter, Hartford Courant

Dusty Christensen

 "A female co-worker seemed uncomfortable when she approached me in the parking lot and asked me how much money I made. I made a lot more than she did, even though we had the same educational experience and she had more work experience. Similar conversations with the same results sparked our union campaign. Fighting for equal pay is going to be a priority for our union."

-- Dusty Christensen, Staff Writer, Daily Hampshire Gazette

Errin Haines

"You don’t really know if you are being paid what your peers with similar experience and seniority are making. You’re not quite sure, right? If this were any other industry, we would be exposing disparity in salaries. And we would be exposing it for the purpose of change. We should be doing that in our industry as well."

-- Errin Haines, National Writer, Associated Press

Ana Ley

"As a reporter who is way too familiar with being the only Latina in a newsroom, the issue of pay equity was a big reason I asked to join the team negotiating our first contract."

-- Ana Ley, Government Reporter, Virginian-Pilot

Kristina Bui

"The union gave us a way to prove that everything we suspected about inequity was true. And it gave us the power to fight it."

-- Kristina Bui, Multi-Platform Editor, Los Angeles Times

Charlie Johnson

"When I learned a union had the right to pay data during the bargaining process — and that said data could be scientifically analyzed to determine if pay discrimination exists — I was floored. Why weren't people talking about this? It seemed like half-a-reason to unionize in and of itself."

Charlie Johnson, Home Page Editor, Chicago Tribune

Mallika Sen

"As a woman of color, I’m proud to belong to a union that fights for the same pay for the same experience."

-- Mallika Sen, Editor, Associated Press

The NewsGuild-CWA is standing up for equal pay.

We demand action:
  • Equal Pay
  • Transparency
  • Hiring policies that promote diversity

We have already made progress:
Union locals have gained access to pay data, noted discrepancies, armed our members with the info needed to win raises, and negotiated salaries and hiring practices that promote diversity.

Although management rarely admits that pay disparities exist, they often grant raises to individuals when confronted with the Guild's analysis of the data.

But there's still a long way to go…
Our power to win equal pay and fair employment practices rests on our ability to demand transparency, expose unfair pay practices, and demand that management address the problem across the board.

The NewsGuild gets results.

Philadelphia Inquirer, Daily News and Philly.com

NewsGuild members at the Philadelphia Inquirer have narrowed a gender-based pay gap considerably since the Guild’s first pay study in 2016. During bargaining, the union highlighted inequities for women and people of color and proposed individual pay adjustments to address the disparities, an examination of recruitment practices and re-establishment of a Diversity Committee.

Salaries for newly hired female reporters, where the gap was 16 percent, are now on par with salaries for male reporters with the same experience. A sizable gap among editors with 15-20 years of service has narrowed from 12.9% to 3.5%. Male editors, who were making an average of approximately $12,000 more than female editors in 2018, earned an average of $2,000 more in 2019. The gap for people of color has narrowed slightly, from 16.5% to 12%. The number of female employees in the newsroom has increased from 37% to 43%. The number of people of color increased from 13.5% to 19.2%. The union continues to fight for equity adjustments and merit increases.

Wall Street Journal

A 2018 study by IAPE1096, The NewsGuild local that represents workers at Wall Street Journal and other Dow Jones properties, showed that median pay for full-time male newsroom employees was more than 15% higher than for female employees and median pay for white employees was nearly 17% more than for employees of color in the second quarter of the year.

Following an earlier study, management refused to acknowledge inequities, but granted raises totaling $270,000 to 31 of 1,300 IAPE-represented employees, including at least one increase of 27 percent or approximately $14,870. Since then, NewsGuild members have won additional across-the-board raises and are continuing to fight for pay fairness.

Los Angeles Times

A 2018 study by the Los Angeles Times Guild found that women and people of color in the newsroom made less than white men. On average, women earned approximately 86% of what men earned; people of color earned roughly 86% of what white people earned, and women of color made less than 70 percent of what white men earned.

During bargaining for the Guild’s first contract with the L.A. Times, the union used the data to negotiate significant raises that reduced the disparities for many employees. In addition, the local negotiated a provision that requires managers, whenever possible, to interview at least two candidates who are women or members of traditionally underrepresented groups. It also requires management to form a joint diversity committee with the Guild.

And more!

Studies at the Washington Post, BNA, San Francisco Chronicle and Minneapolis Star Tribune also found that women and people of color earned less than their counterparts.

Ready to Fight for Equal Pay?

If you want to fight for equal pay, here are some steps you can take.

Have the Conversation

  • Talk with your coworkers. If you suspect there are disparities in pay – and there probably are – #HaveTheConversation. Share pay information with your colleagues.
  • If you work at a NewsGuild-represented publication, talk with unit leaders. Let them know your concerns.

Same PayGet the Information

  • The NewsGuild encourages all union locals to request pay information from management. (See Moving Forward on Pay Equity for guidelines on the specific information to request.)
  • Using the information provided by management, conduct pay equity studies – or seek assistance from the national union.
  • Analyze the pay studies and report the results to NewsGuild members and the national union.

Take Action

  • Wherever pay inequities are found, organize a public pressure campaign to expose and oppose them.
  • Offer wage assessments to individuals who believe their pay is unfair.
  • Highlight pay disparities and propose contractual remedies, including wage adjustments, ongoing monitoring, establishment of hiring practices that promote diversity, and formation of diversity committees. Negotiate robust anti-discrimination language protects women, people of color, transgender and gender nonconforming people.2

Keep the pressure on!

If you work at a non-union publication and want get organized, contact The NewsGuild.


  1. U.S. Census Bureau, Sept. 2018, via the National Committee on Pay Equity.
  2. Employers don’t keep records identifying transgender and gender nonconforming people, but the LGBTQ Task Force reports that they are nearly four times more likely to have a household income of less than $10,000 per year than the general population.