Demand More for Black Women
by Sarah Nichols on Aug 30, 2018
August 7th was Black Women’s Equal Pay Day, which means that a black woman would have to work more than 200 additional days to make the same amount of money a white man makes in a year.
And August 7th is certainly a significant, symbolic representation of the inequities that still exist for black women in modern society. However, we can’t contain these discussions to just one day.
This is why we were lucky to have Joi Chaney, the director of the Equal Pay Today Campaign on our #FacebookLiveFridays to discuss black women’s equal pay and what we can do to #DemandMore for black women.
Watch the full video here:
We are LIVE with Joi Chaney of Equal Pay Today to discuss #BlackWomensEqualPay and how we can #DemandMore. Comment with a 💲emoji if you're watching and any questions you might have!
Posted by Women's Rights and Empowerment Network- WREN on Friday, August 17, 2018
So here’s the golden question: what do you say to folks who claim that it is “personal choices” that cause the wage gap?
- If your job doesn’t have paid leave, and your child gets sick and you get fired for missing work, that’s not a personal choice.
- If you have to have a disproportionate responsibility for your family and therefore you won’t be able to completely invest in your career, that’s not really a choice.
- If your getting a college degree doesn’t pay off for you in the same way that getting a college degree pays off for white women or men, that’s not a personal choice.
- If you’re judged for just being you, and no one sees in you a CEO or a manager, that’s not your choice.
- If you are at the mercy of other people’s bigotry and discrimination, that’s not really your choice.
So let’s get down to some of the nitty-gritty:
- Nationally, women on average earn 80-cents on every dollar of a man’s. Black women, however, earn 53-cents on the white, non-Hispanic man’s dollar.
- Statewide, the numbers look a little different. In South Carolina, women are paid 27% less on average. More on that here.
- Contributing factors to the wage gap include occupational segregation (women disproportionately in lower income fields), discrimination and microaggressions, pregnancy discrimination, the minimum wage, the reduction and potential for union membership, the lack of pay transparency, and many other factors.
- There is research that shows that the wage gap becomes visible around one year into a woman’s professional work life.
- It’s not always a matter of not asking; women negotiate too but are often treated differently from the same ask.
- When men have children, they make more money. When women have children, they are punished for it.
What it all comes down to?
“We have to reframe and believe that women are worthy of our investment as a nation…and we simply have to demand it, even if they’re not ready. In 2018 we have to cash it in.”