Black Women’s Equal Pay Day

The First Partner and the California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls hosted a panel highlighting Black Women’s Equal Pay Day on August 13, 2020.

The panel was moderated by California’s First Partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom and featured CCSWG Commissioner Senator Holly J. Mitchell, PolicyLink Founder and President Angela Glover-Blackwell, and TaskRabbit CEO Stacy Brown-Philpot.

In California, Black women earn 61 cents for every dollar a White man earns. The COVID-19 recession has hit women and women of color especially hard. In June, the unemployment rate for Black women was three times higher than before the pandemic hit.

Watch this conversation focused on active corporate allyship, advocacy, and structural change between powerhouse leaders working hard to build true equality for Black women in California as we navigate the Covid-19 crisis and recovery.

“Women of color, and Black women in particular, cannot afford for the wage gap to remain so devastatingly large. Its elimination must be a priority.” -Holly M. Mitchell

About #EqualPayCA

#EqualPayCA is a campaign led by the First Partner, in partnership with The California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls (CCSWG) focused on closing the pay gap in California. California has the strongest equal pay laws in the nation, but passing a law is only the first step – change doesn’t happen without education and implementation. So to help close the gap, the #EqualPayCA campaign is promoting and distributing new resources from the CCSWG’s Pay Equity Task Force, raising awareness about the causes and challenges of the pay gap through online education and on the ground events, and challenging businesses to commit to pay equity in the workplace through the CA Pay Equity Pledge.


About 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 Census data, the 2020 wage gap for Black women compared to non-Hispanic white men is $0.62 (cents). Black women are disproportionately harmed by the pay gap.

Lower earnings for Black women add up to less money for their families. More than 80% of Black mothers are the main breadwinners for their households so this impacts families’ ability to buy groceries, pay for childcare, invest in their children’s education, and more. The Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated long-standing racial inequalities in America that are rooted in systemic racism. During the first three months of the downturn, employment for Black and Latinx women fell by over 20% – more than three times the decline in employment for white men. 

Wage gaps must be understood through an intersectional lens, but awareness is only the first step – active ally ship, advocacy, and structural change are needed to build true equality for Black women in California and across the nation.