ALABANY, N.Y. (NEWS10)–According to an updated report by the State’s Labor Department, Women in New York made $88 cents for every dollar earned by men in 2021.

“That figure is all women compared to white men the year before,” explained Department of Labor Commissioner, Roberta Reardon. “The thing that’s really not so well known is women of color have much worse pay gaps. For Black American women, it is about 68 cents to the dollar and for Latina women in the United States, it’s 63 cents to the dollar.”

Commissioner Reardon said she thinks there is a lack of awareness and preconceived notions from decades ago that are contributing to the wage gap and added that childcare has an enormous impact.

“We knew before the pandemic that childcare was an issue, but with businesses shutting down, women having to go home and take care of their children and do remote schooling at the same time, it already exasperated an already difficult question.”

While the gender pay gap narrowed between 2019 and 2021, unemployment for women nearly doubled.

“A lot of times women will be forced to take a job based on the flexabity of the job. The need to be able to pick the child up after school, so they will only take a part time job, or they’ll need to work weekends and shifts other people wouldn’t like, because it allows them to take care of their children.”

So how is the state planning to close this pay gap? The governor has proposed pegging the minimum wage to inflation and there are new pay transparency laws.

“A couple of years ago we began to have paid parental leave for private sector workers and then it was also extended to public service workers, non-represented workers. Now the governor is suggesting to the public sector unions that they should put this into their bargaining that their workers also have paid parental leave.

Come November, voters can decide to amend to the state constitution to codify equal rights.