July 31st marks how long an African-American woman will have to work into this year to make the same amount of money as her white co-workers last year. The day is known as Black Women’s Equal Pay Day. According to the ACLU, black women will need to work more than 66 years to earn what a white man earns in 40 years.
Black women were paid 63% of what non-white men were paid, which means it’ll take 18 months for African-Americans to be paid what a white man brings home in 12 months. Asian-American women are paid the highest at 85% , followed by white women at 75%. Hispanic women are paid the lowest at 54%. These numbers resonate despite the fact that black women work more hours than white women. And its even worse for those with a college degree. According to the Economic Policy Institute, the largest gap of $17 a hour is for women with more than a college a degree.
To help close the gap here are some tips as women you can take to your next job:
- Negotiate, negotiate, negotiate!
The salary in ink is never the final price. Know the value of your work ethic and don’t settle or shake hands until you’re satisfied. Stick to your terms.
- Be proactive!
The gender-pay gap is not just a black women problem, it’s every women’s’ problem. The push for equal starts with your local public officials. Vote for officials, specifically females, who share your passion. These leaders can push for changes such as the Paycheck Fairness Act, which was put in place to hopefully close the loopholes in the Equal Pay Act.
After all, most of us have families to support and all of us have bills to pay.
A working journalist, entrepreneur and founder of RoyalTee Enterprises. Born and raised in Tampa, Fla. The vision of RoyalTee was inspired in 2015 by Alexia’s ambitions to return to her passion for creative writing and publishing and create a platform to showcase the excellence of minority women across the country through professional, personal and social ventures.