via AAUW

Today is Black women’s Equal Pay Day

Because Black women earn 64 percent of what white men earn for doing the same work, it would take the average Black woman an extra seven months of work to earn what a white man in their job earns in a year. Today is the day she hits that number. 

While the white men in their field are in their seventh month of earning for this year, many Black women are still playing catch up for last year. Over the course of a working life, this puts them at a tremendous disadvantage, limiting their ability to save, invest, and build wealth. Which contributes not only to our pay gap, but to our racial and gendered wealth gap.

The gender pay gap overall is 78 percent, but when you look at race and gender — as you always should — the numbers get worse, fast. White women earn 78 percent of what white men earn; Black women earn 91 percent of what Black men earn and 64 percent of what white men earn; and Latina women earn 90 percent of what Latino men earn but 54 percent — barely one half — of what white men earn for doing the same work.

via AAUW

According to the American Association of University Women:

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. To make matters worse, there’s an even bigger pay gap in the service industry, where black women are paid on average just 60 percent of what male servers are paid. That’s why a livable minimum wage is crucial to all women (who make up two-thirds of tipped workers), and especially black women.

Over-representation in low-paid fields contrasts with under-representation in highly paid ones, and AAUW notes that those who do make it into those fields — engineering, computing, corporate leadership — “discriminatory pay and promotion practices and the hostile environment drive many out.” So tip your waitresses, push for increased minimum wages in your state, and the next time a white guy asks you if you have a ten dollar bill, ask him how he’d feel about taking $6.40 instead.

Table via AAUW.

New York, NY

Chloe Angyal is a journalist and scholar of popular culture from Sydney, Australia. She joined the Feministing team in 2009. Her writing about politics and popular culture has been published in The Atlantic, The Guardian, New York magazine, Reuters, The LA Times and many other outlets in the US, Australia, UK, and France. She makes regular appearances on radio and television in the US and Australia. She has an AB in Sociology from Princeton University and a PhD in Arts and Media from the University of New South Wales. Her academic work focuses on Hollywood romantic comedies; her doctoral thesis was about how the genre depicts gender, sex, and power, and grew out of a series she wrote for Feministing, the Feministing Rom Com Review. Chloe is a Senior Facilitator at The OpEd Project and a Senior Advisor to The Harry Potter Alliance. You can read more of her writing at chloesangyal.com

Chloe Angyal is a journalist and scholar of popular culture from Sydney, Australia.

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