It’s Black Women’s Equal Pay Day. It takes 20 months for Black women to earn what White men make in

August 13, 2020

The Washington Post: It’s Black Women’s Equal Pay Day. It takes 20 months for Black women to earn what White men make in a year.
By Brent D. Griffiths, Jessica Wolfrom, Donna M. Owens and Holly Bailey

Thursday is what advocates have dubbed “Black Women’s Equal Pay Day,” marking the day of the year — including the entire previous year — that it would take a Black woman to earn what White, non-Hispanic men would have earned in just 2019 for the same work.

Last year, Black women earned just 62 cents for every dollar a White, non-Hispanic man made, according to data compiled by the National Women’s Law Center. At that rate, it takes about 20 months — from January to August of the next year — for Black women to earn the same amount their White male counterparts earn in just 12 months.

Compounding the societal impact of that disparity, experts say that more than 70 percent of Black women are the primary breadwinners for their households.

“Millions of Black women are working low-paid jobs on the front lines of the pandemic to keep the rest of us safe, but they’re barely making a living — and the wage gap shortchanges them every day,” Fatima Goss Graves, president and CEO of the National Women’s Law Center, told The Washington Post.

Black women teachers earn an estimated $14,000 a year less than White male teachers, she said, while Black housekeepers earn $12,000 less, and grocery store cashiers earn $8,100 less.

“Especially at this moment of a devastating pandemic and a cratering economy, this is life-changing money that Black women should have in their pockets to care for their families and build economic security,” Goss said.

Stephanie Schriock, president of Emily’s List, which works to elect Democratic women who support abortion rights, described the gender and racial wage gap as an economic and family issue “that creates ripple effects impacting communities across the country.”

“There are many legislative initiatives we can enact to close the race and gender pay gap,” Schriock said, noting that the House already has passed measures that later stalled in the Senate. “However, that is just the beginning. We also need to continue to elect women to every level of government who will fight to raise the minimum wage, strengthen maternity leave policies and provide affordable child care. With Black women in power, we will achieve pay equity in this country.”