Last updated on: 10/2/2019 | Author:

Pramila Jayapal, MBA Biography

US Representative (D-WA)
Pro to the question "Should the Federal Minimum Wage Be Increased?"

“For women and men across the country, this [minimum wage] raise is long overdue. Congress hasn’t passed a wage increase for more than a decade. The bill the House is likely to vote on this week, the Raise the Wage Act, would increase the hourly minimum gradually from $7.25 to $15 in 2024.

Passing this legislation would mean that millions of women will get a necessary raise. Many work hard every day performing services that are essential to our communities and our society, and yet they earn so little that they still worry about paying their bills. We’re talking, for example, about the more than half a million childcare workers whose typical pay is just $11.17 per hour. And we’re talking about the nearly 800,000 home health aides whose median pay is $11.63.

The overwhelming share of individuals doing the life-supporting, honorable, and extremely challenging work of caring for our children, people with disabilities, and seniors are women. These types of female-dominated, low-paid jobs are in the fields with the largest projected growth over the next decade. Meanwhile, Wall Street employees, who are predominantly male, made an average of $422,500 (over $200 per hour) in 2017.”

Cowritten with Ayanna Pressley, “Pramila Jayapal and Ayanna Pressley: Raising the Minimum Wage Is a Women’s Issue,”, July 18, 2019

Involvement and Affiliations:
  • US Representative (D-WA), Jan. 2017-present
  • State Senator, Washington, Jan. 2015-present
  • Co-Chair, We Belong Together, Jan. 2013-Nov. 2014
  • Distinguished Taconic Fellow, Center for Community Change, Oct. 2012-Sep. 2014
  • Founder and Executive Director, OneAmerica (formerly Hate Free Zone), Sep. 2001-May 2012
  • Consultant, Pramila Jayapal Consulting, July 1997-Sep. 2001
  • Fellow, Institute of Current World Affairs, May 1995-July 1997
  • Director, Fund for Technology Transfer, Program for Appropriate Technology in Health (PATH), May 1991-Apr. 1995
  • Account Consultant, Physio-Control Corporation, Sep. 1990-Aug. 1991
  • MBA, Marketing and Nonprofit Management, Northwestern University, 1990
  • BA, English, Georgetown University, 1986
  • Twitter handle: @RepJayapal
  • Jayapal is the first Indian-American woman to serve in the US House of Representatives and the first Asian-American woman to represent Washington in Congress.
  • She was born in Chennai (then Madras), India, and raised in Indonesia and Singapore before immigrating to the US at age 16.
Quoted in:
Pro & Con Quotes: Should the Federal Minimum Wage Be Increased?