By Jenny Horn
In 1996, the National Committee on Pay Equity declared the observation of Equal Pay Day. The communities of labor unions, professional associations, civil rights organizations, grassroots efforts, and countless other individuals have been asserting ever since to acknowledge the realities of the inherent, implicit discrimination within the workplace, especially in regards to pay and compensation.
In the last twenty five years, the recognition of inequality in special relation to the wage gaps of varying marginalized groups has become increasingly more prevalent. Today, countless individuals are talking with one another, advocating for themselves in need of the equal pay for equal work they rightfully deserve.
On average in the United States, the 2021 earnings data reflects a wage gap for Black women of 67 cents for full-time, year-round workers, and 64 cents for all workers (including part time) workers. The parental status also impacts the wage gap, with Black mothers making just 50 cents to every dollar a white, non-Hispanic father makes. The pandemic and social unrest about racial injustice have amplified existing inequities in America, and have only added to the immediacy of the need for equal pay reconciliation.
Black women are also disproportionately burdened with student loans, and among those most likely to earn a postsecondary degree, with 64 percent of Black students earning Bachelor degrees being Black women, pointing further to the expansive reach of disproportionate financial ramifications for Black women.
National Black Women’s Equal Pay Day now attracts, invests, and inspires more advocacy, work, and tangible change than ever before, and the Equal Rights Amendment Coalition is fully dedicated to enforcing such changes at a federally-protected level. Join us today in honoring the incredible work of Black women in the United States, and in the fight for equal pay.
Watch our town hall discussion on equal pay for Black Women from 2021: