Trans Workers Face a Significant Wage Gap, Poll Finds

According to a study, transgender people and gender-nonconforming persons are among the lowest-paid LGBTQ+ people who work full-time in the United States. snapshot pollby the Human Rights Campaign Foundation.

Based on responses from approximately 6,800 LGBTQ+ workers last year, the HRC found that trans people and nonbinary gender-nonconforming individuals earn 70c for every dollar that a typical worker earns. Trans women earn 60c per dollar.

“If that’s across the entire population, those dollars and cents add up,” said Spencer Watson, executive director at the Center for LGBTQ Economic Advancement & Research.

The HRC believes that the actual pay gap between trans and LGBTQ+ people may be greater because of part-time work and work in underground industries. However, the survey still provides a unique glimpse at wage disparitiesExperts say they have not been sufficiently researched.

Trans people are more likely than the rest to experience poverty and widespread unemployment. Even if a transgender person is able to find a job outside the underground economy, discrimination can still have an impact on economic advancement, according to Josie Caballero (USTS survey project manager).

More than 77 per cent of respondents to 2015 USTS — the most comprehensive survey of trans life and the latest data available ahead of the survey’s planned 2022 release — described taking multiple steps to avoid discrimination at work, like hiding their gender identity, delaying their transition and being misgendered without correcting their employer.

“If you’re just trying to avoid discrimination, you’re not you’re not asking for promotions,” Caballero said. “You’re not trying to seek quality of life. You’re just trying to survive and keep your head down.”

The wage gaps, Caballero said, “kind of confirm what we already know.”

Lourdes Ash Hunter, executive director of Trans Women of Color Collective, said that when researchers are investigating the economic disparities faced trans people, they should also be focusing on the wage gap trans woman of color experience in the United States. Researchers should also consider underground economies and sex work to get a full picture on the economic disparities that most severely affect trans women of colour. disproportionate violenceHunter stated that there are many forms of discrimination.

Hunter said that in the formal economy, how a company structures itself to support Black transwomen and other women of color is crucial to their economic opportunities. Are there only a few trans-friendly managers? Are there any trans people of colour in leadership roles? Is the company providing a living wage? And even if a Black trans person is making a living wage — how long were they in poverty before that?

The HRC’s polling analyzed the reported wages of LGBTQ+ women of color, though a wage gap for trans men and trans women of color was not measured due to a lack of data. The organization hopes to release another report focused on Black and Latinx trans people from the same data used in this report, Shoshana Goldberg, the organization’s director of public education and research, said.

“We’re only just now being able to start to uncover a lot of these economic disparities,” she said.

Although trans women in HRC’s poll were the lowest paid of any group, cisgender queer women who responded to the survey also shared gaps in pay. However, data from the UCLA’s Williams Institute indicates a more complicated financial picture for cisgender bisexual and lesbian women. According to the The, bisexual and cisgender lesbian women are subject to significant discrimination and economic stress. Queer women of color are also more likely to have very low incomes than White women. Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law.

But, comparing cisgender queer women’s wages to straight women’s wages is more complicated, said M.V. Lee Badgett is an economics professor at the Williams Institute and a distinguished scholar.

Cisgender lesbian and bisexual women on average make more money than straight women, Badgett said, for a variety of reasons, including working more hours and working more weeks of the year — which can be influenced by relationship structure and a lack of child care. She added that they make less than gay and bisexual cisgender men. Recent data from the Hamilton ProjectAlso, it was found that married women couples earn lower wages than a married couple of the opposite gender.

USTS found that 16 percent of transgender people were earning less than $10,000 per annum in 2014, or had no income. As the census’ Household Pulse Survey gathers information on how Americans are faring during the pandemic — recently including LGBTQ+ people in the count — researchers are learning that trans people are currently still more likely to have household incomes that put them below the federal poverty line, said Kitt Carpenter, labor economist and founder of the Vanderbilt LGBT Policy Lab.

Watson said that the investigation of a trans wage gap offers researchers a new area to analyze the economic disparities of trans persons. This is similar to discussions on the racial and gender wage gaps in the United States.

And at the end of the day, researchers are “only beginning to scratch the surface” of the experiences of trans people and other gender minorities, and that understanding is much further behind research on LGBTQ+ people as a whole, Carpenter said.

“But thankfully, we’re moving in the right direction,” he said.