Black Women's Equal Pay Day
Black Women’s Equal Pay Day is the approximate day a Black woman must work into the new year to make what white non-Hispanic man made at the end of the previous year. Based on ACS Census data, the 2021 wage gap for Black women compared to non-Hispanic white men is 58 cents.
Pay Equity Is An Intersectional Issue
Today, the wage gap for Black women compared to non-Hispanic white men is $0.58. This inequity affects everything from the ability to save for retirement, pay off student loans, manage household expenses, access to quality housing, healthcare, food offerings and other aspects of Black women’s livelihood. According to the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC), more than 1 in 3 Black women were on the front lines of the pandemic in 2020, many in low-paid jobs and at high-risk of exposure to Covid-19, exacerbating existing inequities.
“It has been widely reported that, despite reports of the economy’s recovery as COVID restrictions lift, Black women are still playing catch up with significantly higher unemployment rates.”
Black Women and The Pay Gap
New research from the American Association of University Women examines how systemic racism — including decades of discriminatory employment practices, intentionally inadequate legal protections and persistent racial stereotypes — has contributed to a pay gap that remains far wider for women of color than for white women.
On the Margins: Economic Security for Women of Color
Closing the Women’s Wealth Gap (CWWG) prioritizes solutions to support women who are disproportionately impacted by the gender wealth gap.
The Coronavirus is a Financial Crisis for Women
These findings are part of ongoing LeanIn.Org and SurveyMonkey research on how COVID-19 is affecting women’s overall well-being.
On average, Black women in the U.S. are paid 38% less than white men and 21% less than white women. Learn more in this report from LeanIn.org.
“Black women are more likely to work in lower-paying service occupations (like food service, domestic work and health care assistance) than any other industry and less likely to work in the higher-paying engineering and tech fields or managerial positions. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that the percentage of Black women who are full-time minimum-wage workers is higher than that of any other racial group.
In addition to being overrepresented at the low-paying end of the spectrum, Black women are underrepresented at the top. Black women make up just 1% of the high-paying engineering workforce and 3% of computing. Among the few Black women who do break into these careers, discriminatory practices drive many out.”
2021 Data on Black Women and the Wage Gap
cents to every dollar White, non-Hispanic men are paid
of Black mothers are key breadwinners for their families
of Black women hold C-Suite positions
of Black women remain unemployed despite economic recovery
Obstacles and Intersections
Black women face vast obstacles due to racism and sexism and the research shows that equal pay for equal work is simply not not a reality for many. When we control for education, years of experience, occupation and other compensable factors, most men and women of color still earn less than White men. The research into the racial wage gap below indicates that racial bias in the workforce remains persistent. According to the National Partnership for Women and Families (NPWF), the wages of Black women are driven down by a number of current factors including gender and racial discrimination, workplace harassment, job segregation and a lack of workplace policies that support family caregiving.
Learn more about the wage gap for Black women using the factsheets below:
The median annual pay for a Black woman in the United States is $31,843, while the median annual pay for a white, non-Hispanic man is $54,917 – a difference of $23,074 per year. Black women in the United States experience a persistent wage gap that the National Partnership for Women and Families suggests could be used to cover the following costs:
Thirty-eight months of food;
More than 29 more months of child care;
Nearly five semesters of tuition and fees for a four-year public university, or the full cost of tuition and fees for a two-year college;
Nearly two years of rent;
More than 15 additional months of premiums for employer-based health insurance.
Take a moment to explore some of the extensive research and reports on the wage gap for Black women below:
- AAUW: Systemic Racism and the Gender Pay Gap
- Center for American Progress: The Black White Wealth Gap Before and During the Pandemic
- On the Margins: Economic Security for Women of Color Through the Coronavirus Crisis and Beyond
- The State of the Gender Pay Gap in 2021
- Working at the Intersection: What Black Women Are Up Against
- Closing the Women’s Wealth Gap: What It Is and What Can Be Done About It
- Crisis Conversations (Podcast): Calling For A New Bailout For Women of Color
- 2020 Pay Equity Study (San Diego)
- Systemic Racism and the Gender Pay Gap