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Today is July 31, 2017, Black Women's Equal Pay Day. What does that mean you ask? Today marks the end of how far black women had to work into 2017 in order to catch to what white men were paid in 2016. Because of its significance, we have chosen to partner with Lean In Community and other businesses around the nation to help bring awareness about the 37% gender pay gap for black women.
the hard facts
Since beginning this campaign, the thought was not lost on me that there would be naysayers and derogatory comments being left of posts and my inbox, but it pushed me harder to help bring awareness to what's really going on in today's work force pertaining to gender pay gaps. While I will admit, some of the questions and comments have been all but chuckle worthy, some have actually come from a place of concern. One of those questions posed by a colleague was, "Why do you feel you should take on this fight. I mean it's obvious you are a black woman, but you are your own boss so how are you affected?" The simple answer is, before I am a daughter, sister, friend, significant other, entrepreneur or a host of any other things that make me, we ME; I am a black woman. Regardless of being an entrepreneur, there still are potential clients who feel because of my race, I shouldn't be paid the same as my white male counterparts. Before becoming an entrepreneur, I've been passed up for promotions and opportunities that I was qualified for or had already been doing the job without an official title and I was still passed over for a white male. I have family and friends who are still working in corporate America who experience this in various industries and fields. So while my pay may not be affected as theirs, I have a responsibility to reclaim my 37% and help them reclaim theirs as well.
Besides, isn't closing the gender pay gap everyone's responsibility? When comparing full-time year-round salaries of men and women who work in the United States, black women are paid a whopping .63 to every dollar of their white male counterparts (women in general are paid .80 to every dollar*) While sixty-three cents may not sound like much to you, that amounts to a $21k/year loss in salary for black woman. $21,001 a year to be exact! It takes a whole 19 months, ending on July 31st for black women to make as much as white men did the previous 12-month calendar year. Read that again several times. This is true regardless of degrees or certifications amassed for black women who have earned a college degree. Studies show black women have to earn a Master's degree in order to slightly edge past white men who have only earned an Associate's Degree.** So you see if we worked to close the pay gap, women can afford more food to feed their families, afford an additional 14 months of mortgage payments, 3.1 million working women and their families*** would be lifted out of poverty, and so much more.
doing my part...
Along with other businesses across the nation, we have committed to discounting our marketing services by 37% in partnership with LeanIn.Org to highlight the unfairness of this pay gap, If you are a business or know of a business, organization, or solopreneur who is in need of marketing services, click here or below to save.
Images courtesy of Lean In, leanin,org
***National Partnership for Women & Families, Black Women and Wag Gap (March 2017)
**National Women's Law Center, Equal Pay for Black Women by Brandie Temple and Jasmine Tucker, (July 27, 2017)
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