Huffington Post: This Black Women’s Equal Pay Day Comes More Than A Month Later Than Last Year. Here’s Why.
September 21. 2022
“There are so many communities that rely on the labor, the brilliance, the joy of Black women,” she [Coleman] said. “If Black women aren’t able to make it, those communities falter. It is imperative that we demand pay equity for Black women because so many of us are leading our communities, organizing against police violence, organizing against systemic anti-Black racism, including in the workplace. We are pushing for change in so many different ways. That needs to be recognized in how we are compensated.”
Delia Coleman, the deputy director of the nonprofit Equal Rights Advocates explained that Black women are historically among the least paid for some of the same work white men do. Added to that are the lack of pregnancy leave and accommodations, caregiver discrimination and being forced out of work “depressing our lifetime earnings.”
“Now, add the pandemic to this, that has additionally forced hundreds of thousands of Black women out of the workforce because of lack of child care,” Coleman continued. “Black women aren’t returning to work at the same rates that other demographics are. It is slower for us to return to full-time work. We are returning on a part-time basis, again, because of child care but, also again, because of employers [saying], ‘You can’t get your old shift back. You can’t get your old schedule back.’ Black women are putting together their working schedules the best that they can.”
“We’re a highly educated demographic, and that means that we took on a lot of student loan debt,” she [Coleman] said. “You have to pay off your mortgage or pay your rent. You also have to pay off your credit cards, and you also have to provide for child care.”
Coleman said that this issue isn’t Black women’s responsibility to fix.
“Black women don’t need to do it,” she said, pointing to the many times Black women have had to put on their Superwoman cape for this country. The onus should fall on employers and policymakers to make real change.