Today is Black Women’s Equal Pay Day, which marks the occasion when black women finally earn as much as white men do in a single calendar year. Twitter recognized the occasion with the hashtags #BlackWomensEqualPay and #BlackWomenCantWait, which spread awareness of the pay gap.
Research shows that black women who are employed in full-time, year-round positions make 61 cents for every dollar that white, non-Hispanic men earn. Since we are nearly nine months into 2019, that means it’s taken black women nearly 20 months to earn what white men make in 12 months.
Black women are overrepresented in low-wage jobs and underrepresented in higher-wage jobs, but no matter which group they belong to, they still experience a wage gap. That’s partly because of discrimination, workplace harassment, and policies that don’t support family caregivers who are also employed, according to the National Partnership for Women & Families.
Over a 40-year career, this wage gap costs black women $946,120. A black woman would also have to work until she was 86 years old to make the same amount a non-Hispanic white man earns by age 60.
The following tweets offer concrete ways to fight for parity and illustrate the impact of the pay gap.
1. Advocate for black women’s pay equality.
Today is #BlackWomensEqualPay Day, when Black women’s pay catches up to what white, non-Hispanic men were paid in 2018. That means Black women must work 𝟐𝟎 𝐦𝐨𝐧𝐭𝐡𝐬 to be paid what white men are paid in 𝐣𝐮𝐬𝐭 𝟏𝟐. It’s way past time to fix this gap. pic.twitter.com/bNL1Lc1o6h
— National Women’s Law Center (@nwlc) August 22, 2019
2. Talk about salary with co-workers.
3. Advocate for salary history bans.
4. Contact your senators about the Paycheck Fairness Act.
5. Recognize how the pay gap affects black women’s access to healthcare.
On #BlackWomensEqualPay Day, let’s remember that the wage gap doesn’t just affect economic success—it also affects Black women’s ability to get health care & can worsen the structural barriers that Black communities already face to accessing quality care. https://t.co/RnPK7AVfWt
— Alexis McGill Johnson (@alexismcgill) August 22, 2019
Even though Black Women’s Equal Pay Day happens once a year, these tweets are a great reminder of how important it is to end the pay gap and ensure that people earn what they deserve, regardless of race or gender.