Black Women's Equal Pay Day
Today is September 21, 2022. We are exactly 264 days into the year, and we have 101 days remaining. Today marks Black Women’s Equal Pay Day. This day is important because it signifies approximately how many more days it took Black women to earn the same income non-Hispanic white men made at the end of last year. In other words, Black women had to work 264 more days to achieve the same income non-Hispanic white men made at the end of 2021.
You may recall that Equal Pay Day was on March 15th earlier this year. While we were bringing awareness to how far into the year the average woman must work to have the same income her male counterparts earned the previous year, Black women were even further behind.
In 2020, the Biden administration acknowledged that Equal Pay Day came earlier that year than it has over the past 26 years. The average full-time, year-round working woman made 83 cents for every dollar the average man made. Although this amount was one cent more than the previous year, women of color overall pay decreased compared to their White male counterparts. Black women, in particular, earned 63% of what non-Hispanic White men made. This ratio is not significantly different from the gender wage gap of the 1960s. To make matters worse, the pay gap for Black women is wider than average, even though they participate in the workforce at much higher rates than most women.
The data above only reinforces that we have so much more work to do. According to experts, the wage gap is driven by job segregation based on gender and race. Women overrepresent jobs and industries that pay the least. Black women, particularly, are more likely to work full-time minimum-wage jobs than any other racial group. They are likely to work low-paying jobs such as food service, domestic work, and health care assistant and less likely to work in higher-paying jobs including engineering, tech, and managerial positions. Black women only comprise 1% of the high-paying engineering workforce and 3% of computing. But unfortunately, some Black women who represent the one and three percent that break into those careers may be driven out due to discriminatory practices.
It saddens us that not only do we have to recognize Women’s Pay Day because of gender discrimination, but we must also recognize Black Women’s Pay Day because of both racial and gender discrimination. America, we have so much work to do.
In case you did not know, here is a list of other groups of women who have different Pay Days we should recognize:
This list is courtesy of The American Association of University Women.
- Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Women’s Equal Pay Day is May 3. Asian American and Pacific Islander women are paid 75 cents for every dollar paid to white men.
- LGBTQIA+ Equal Pay Awareness Day is June 15. Without enough data to make calculations, this day raises awareness about the wage gap experienced by LGBTQIA+ folks.
- Moms’ Equal Pay Day is September 8. Moms are paid 58 cents for every dollar paid to dads.
- Black Women’s Equal Pay Day is September 21. Black women are paid 58 cents for every dollar paid to white men.
- Native Women’s Equal Pay Day is November 30. Native women are paid 50 cents for every dollar paid to white men.
- Latina’s Equal Pay Day is December 8. Latinas are paid 49 cents for every dollar paid to white men.