Elizabeth Warren Says That, If Elected, She Would Issue Executive Orders Aimed At Addressing Equal Pay, Race

'Our economy should be working just as hard for women of color as women of color work for our economy and their families,' she said.

Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) speaks during a community conversation
Ethan Miller / Getty Images

'Our economy should be working just as hard for women of color as women of color work for our economy and their families,' she said.

Elizabeth Warren said Friday that, if elected President, she would issue executive orders intended to address the pay gap and other employment barriers that affect women of color in the workforce.

In an article titled “Valuing the Work of Women of Color” posted on Medium, Warren wrote about how she intends to address the issues that affect women in the workforce, and women of color in particular. Specifically, Warren writes that black and Latina women are, in large percentages, the sole breadwinners for their families, yet nevertheless experience a “steeper climb” in the workforce.

The gender gap in pay between men and women is well-documented. For example, as The Library of Economics and Liberty notes, discrepancies in pay between men and women as well as discrepancies in opportunity between men and women have been noted by economists for over a century.

But, as Warren writes, there’s another wrinkle: race. Women, in general, earn 80.5 cents to every dollar that men earn, according to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research. Yet, when race is factored into the equation, the numbers are even more alarming. Warren posits that black women earn 61 cents to the dollar compared to white men, Native women earn 58 cents, and Latinas earned just 53 cents.

To address those disparities, says Warren, she’ll issue executive orders aimed at closing the gender/race pay gap.

One such order, as Yahoo News explains it, would direct the federal government to recruit female employees from historically black colleges, would establish paid fellowships for federal jobs for minority and low-income applicants – including previously-incarcerated people – and would require federal agencies to “incorporate diversity” into their strategic plans.

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Another order would ban companies seeking federal contracts from using forced arbitration and noncompete clauses, which she says make it harder for employees to fight wage theft (that is, being forced to work off the clock), a problem that disproportionately affects women of color. Would-be federal contractors would also be required to pay a $15 minimum hourly wage and offer benefits including paid family leave, fair scheduling, and collective bargaining rights to all employees.

“Our economy should be working just as hard for women of color as women of color work for our economy and their families,” she wrote.

As The Hill reported earlier this week, Warren has been surging in the polls since last week’s NBC News debates. She is now in a virtual three-way tie with Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.