Black Women’s Equal Pay Day: A Call to Action for Justice and Equity

Noreen Farrell
Noreen Farrell, Executive Director

"Today is not just about paychecks. It’s about a lifetime of stolen wages that make it impossible for many Black women to retire, send their kids to college, or buy homes."

Today on Black Women’s Equal Pay Day 2024, equality supporters across the country are raising awareness and contacting lawmakers about the wage gap Black women face.

This day shines a spotlight on the wage gap that Black women face compared to white men. Black women working full-time, year-round are paid just 69 cents per $1.00 paid to non-Hispanic white men. When we incorporate those working part-time and part-year jobs (including those who work more than 40 hours/week between multiple part-time jobs), this gap widens to 66 cents. These disparities are unacceptable and perpetuate economic inequality.

It’s especially important for us to remember that this day is not just about paychecks. It’s about a lifetime of stolen wages that make it impossible for many Black women to retire, send their kids to college, or buy homes. It’s about the lack of paid family leave that forces Black women to choose between keeping their jobs or caring for sick children. It’s about discrimination and harassment pushing Black women out of higher-paying jobs and political attacks on corporate DEI programs aimed to increase their representation. It’s about Black women who endure harassment and indignities rather than defend themselves because they rely on customer tips to make ends meet on a subminimum tipped wage as low as $2.13 per hour. All of this looms in the context of the systematic dismantling of reproductive choice so critical to workforce participation.

Days like Black Women’s Equal Pay Day remind us how closely all these issues are interlinked. They remind us how much work is left to realize the goal of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 on its 60th Anniversary. Please join our call to action. Join us in sending a pre-drafted email your representatives about the Paycheck Fairness Act and the BeHEARD Act, which would enforce pay transparency and help end sexual harassment.

Thank you for supporting women of color with us, this week and always.

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