Thursday, August 13th is Black Women’s Equal Pay Day. That means Black women had to work all of 2019 and until this day in 2020 to catch up to what white, non-Hispanic men earned in 2019 alone. Black women earn 62 cents for every dollar earned by white, non-Hispanic men. Or we can look at it another way: it takes 1 year plus an additional 226 days for Black women to get equal pay.
As allies for racial justice, our immediate challenge is to spread awareness of this injustice. Join NOW and our allies in the campaign to raise awareness of the pay gap and its negative effect on Black women and families. We invite you to the Facebook live discussion at 10 am Thursday on race and economic theft with national experts and advocates.
You may also want to take part in a twitter storm Thursday, from 2 to 3 pm. See the toolkit with tweets and other media.
The statistics show the deep reach of institutional racism as it affects the ability to earn a living. On average, Black women are paid 38% less than white men. Lower earnings for Black women means less money for their families, especially since more than 80% of Black mothers are the main breadwinners for their households. When they’re paid less, it impacts their ability to buy groceries, pay for childcare, afford rent and tuition … all the costs that go into supporting a family.
Black women are subject to biases for being women and biases for being people of color. We see this double discrimination in the pay gap. Not only are Black women on average paid 38% less than white men, they are paid 21% less than white women.
Too many people don’t know that Black women are paid less. More than 30 percent of Americans are not aware that, on average, Black women are paid less than white men. And 50% of Americans—as well as 45% of hiring managers—think Black women and white women are paid equally.
People are overly optimistic about the state of Black women. About half of white men think obstacles to advancement for Black women are gone, but only 14% of Black women agree.
Moreover, nearly 70% of people who are not Black think that racism, sexism or both are uncommon in their company—yet 64% of Black women say they’ve experienced discrimination at work.
Any way you look at it, there’s a pay gap for Black women. Even when you control for factors like education, experience, location, and occupation, the pay gap still exists. And the gap actually widens for Black women with more education.
The pay gap that Black women face amounts to almost $870,000 lost over the course of a typical career. Each woman’s extra annual earnings would pay for:
• Three years worth of groceries
• Twenty-two months worth of rent
• Two and a half years of child care
• Or the full cost of tuition and fees for a two-year community college.
As allies for racial justice, our immediate challenge is to spread awareness of this injustice.
Thanks to everyone who helps in raising awareness.