A Call to Action on #BlackWomenEqualPayDay

By Simone D. Ross, CEO

Today is a call to action.

Today is the day the average Black woman in America will finally—after nine extra months of work—catch up to the pay of the average white man.

Over the course of 40 years of full-time work, a Black woman stands to lose almost $1 million compared to the pay of a white man.

Today is a call to action for an inclusive economy. Our economy is not working for everyone. If we are to make any progress toward a just, inclusive, multiracial economy and democracy, we must shift power toward Black women.

Sadly, Black women’s work has always been undervalued. Throughout chattel slavery, Black women had no claim to the wealth their labor created

This is a call to action. Today is a call for equity. Black women still labor under the long shadow of slavery and systemic racism.

Today is a call to action, really an alarm at the gate.

Women lost 1.4 million jobs, largely in industries in which Black women are overrepresented such as services and hospitality. And Black women workers have been yet again excluded from full economic recovery, facing unemployment rates that would still be considered recessionary if they were applied to all workers.

I implore us all to interrogate the institutional barriers that exclude Black women from economic security.

I challenge us to examine public policy choices that hit women of color the hardest – and change them so we are making equitable policy choices.

As leaders, policymakers, community members, and interests stakeholders, we have to commit to building worker power.

This is accomplished by recognizing and calling out racialized wage discrimination that threatens Black women’s economic control.