In addition to not having the same rate of professional success as our white male and female counterparts in the workplace, women of color earn even less per dollar. According the US Census data Black women are paid $0.70 per one dollar a man makes and $0.64 per one dollar their white male counterpart makes. The Partnership for Women and Families, an organization dedicated to helping women and families on multiple fronts, says this gender wage gap is costing these women roughly the equivalent of two years worth of food and 10 months worth of mortgage and utilities. We already know that mean wealth for single Black women is $100, much much lower than any other demographic. This statistic may certainly be contributing to that disparity.
Racial bias certainly plays a role in amplifying the gender bias. Some of the gender wage gap can be explained by looking at the rate that women negotiate their job offers. The next layer is the perception of a woman who does negotiate and highlights her skill set. She is considered to be aggressive, pushy, or even a bitch. When it’s a Black woman that perception is even further amplified given the widespread negative images of Black women perpetuated by the media. Black women are angry or have attitudes. When the reality is all women get angry and can have attitudes. Men too. This racial-gender bias plays itself out much more for working Black women.
Black women are the most college-educated demographic in the United States. 9.7% of Black women are enrolled in some sort of higher education program. This is the highest of all demographics and well above the national average. Black women, and women of color, are the fastest growing group of entrepreneurs in the country. When you look at these statistics surely it indicates that Black women are both educated and business-savvy yet their progress in Corporate America is far behind their White female peers. According to a report for the League of Black Women on taking risks, Black women do take career risks but the payoff for those risks receive much less reward. Black women are doing the same as their White counterparts professionally with the same or more education but receive less dollar-for-dollar.
Essentially, it comes down to knowing you’re worth and being prepared to defend it based on fact. Unfortunately the Black tax is showing no signs of letting up. If you’re not aware of the Black tax it’s working twice as hard (or harder) to be considered just as good or average. If we start working as a group and come together, we may start seeing a reversal of this trend. In the meantime this gap is costing families valuable resources in the form of basic necessities. Ever consider starting your own business? You would be in great company.
Like, share and comment below. We want to hear from you. Have you experienced the wage gap, if so, what did you do?
REAL TALK | REAL THINGS | REAL RESULTS