With all the Black girl magic we read about in the news and the National Women’s Business Council reporting that there are currently 1,521,494 Black Women owned businesses, equal pay for Black women should be no big deal. We certainly know they are working hard enough, and yet it is.
In her article entitled, “No, Black Women Still Don’t Earn the Same As Their White Peers. Here’s Why,” Tia T. Gordon reveals how “the National Women’s Law Center calculates that, in the United States, Black women working full-time earn $0.63 for every dollar earned by white men (not including Latinos). Nationally, women of all races working full-time, year-round are paid an average of $0.80 for every $1 earned by white men.
Gordon says, “This unfortunate reality shows that all women are impacted by the gender wage gap. And any pay gap based on gender, race, ethnicity, or age is wrong.”
Aside from the pay inequality, Gordon says she is even more surprised by the “invisibility of Black women” in this day and age. Invisibility in this case meaning intentionally overlooked unfairness or uncomfortableness (on the sinject’s behalf). Invisibility is said to be “the only super power allowed to Black women.”
With over twenty years of experience in communications, Gordon currently is the Vice President of Communications for Catalyst, a leading nonprofit organization with a mission to accelerate progress for women through workplace inclusion. In the past, she has worked with several Fortune 500 Companies, and yet she too has had experiences.
“The challenges I’ve faced were not all made up in my head or socialized conspiracy theories. They are reflected in the research—real data and facts. They are also supported in the stories from some of my friends and colleagues—a large network of remarkable, professional Black women—who encounter bias every day,” Gordon wrote.
Gordon says while businesses need to do more to close the pay gap, they have “an urgent responsibility to do more for Black women (and other women of color) who have suffered from invisibility in the workplace.”
For businesses and leaders interested in changing the narrative, Gordon suggested the following:
- Conduct internal pay equity studies and analyses to make sure the organization does not have a gender wage gap.
- Implement a “no negotiations” policy to level the playing field.
- Support pay transparency.
- Evaluate recruitment, promotion, and talent development systems for gender bias.
Gordon wrapped up her article with a quote from novelist, essayist, playwright, poet, and social critic James Baldwin and thought. ““To act is to be committed, and to be committed is to be in danger.” In this case, the danger would be a danger to the pay gap. If business leaders and organizations take a public stand for fairness and pledge to take action, Black women will be justly rewarded for their talent—and the pay gap can become a thing of the past.”
To read the full article, click here.