Today, July 31, 2017 is Black Women’s Equal Pay Day. It means we as Black Women, must work 7 months into 2017 to be paid the same as White men in 2016. How sway you say? Yes, black women are at the bottom in terms of pay and wealth for that matter. What can you do with an extra $840,000? Well that is the income the Black Women lose in income as compared to a White man’s salary over a lifetime. .63 cent to every dollar a White male earns is what a Black woman makes. Whenever we talk about the pay wage gap, it’s usually talked about in terms of White women, but Black women are losing out even more. More than any demographic. It takes a Black Woman 19 months to earn what a White Man earns in a year!
According to www.epi.org
Myth #1: If black women worked harder, they’d get the pay they deserve.
The truth: Black women work more hours than white women. They have increased work hours 18.4 percent since 1979, yet the wage gap relative to white men has grown.
Over the last several decades, both black and white workers have increased their number of annual hours in response to slow wage growth. While men typically work more hours than women, the data reveal that growth in work hours, for both whites and blacks, was heavily driven by the growth of work hours among women. The increase in annual hours is particularly striking for workers in the bottom 40 percent of the wage distribution, where it has been driven almost entirely by women.
Among lower paid workers, the growth in annual hours is larger for black women than for white women and men. This trend is particularly striking for the lowest wage workers. In the bottom fifth, annual hours for black women grew 30.1 percent (from 1,162 hours/year to 1,511 hours/year) between 1979 and 2015 compared to a 27.6 percent increase (from 1,086 hours/year to 1,386 hours/year) for white women and a 3.2 percent increase (from 1,553 hours/year to 1,602 hours/year) for white men.
Working moms are significant contributors to this trend—half of all African American female workers are moms, as are 55.3 percent of Hispanic working women and 44.5 percent of white female workers – although women often face a wage penalty when taking time out of the workforce to care for children. While all moms are working more hours per year and contributing more to their households financially, African American working moms are uniquely central to the economic well-being of their families.
Even when faced with the added demands on their time that come with having a family, in 2015, married black women with children worked over 200 hours more per year than married white or Hispanic women with children, and 339 hours more than black single mothers. Married black working moms also worked 132 hours more per year than childless non-elderly black working women.
Myth #2: Black women can educate themselves out of the pay gap.
The truth: Two-thirds of black women in the workforce have some postsecondary education, 29.4 percent have a bachelor’s degree or higher. Black women are paid less than white men at every level of education.
The figure below shows average wages for white men and black women in 2016. As black women increase their educational attainment, their pay gap with white men continues to grow. The largest gap, of nearly $17 an hour, occurs for workers with more than a college degree. But even black women with an advanced degree earn less, slightly more than $7 an hour less, than white men who only have a bachelor’s degree.