On August 22, AnitaB.org and many other allied organizations will drive awareness to Black Women’s Equal Pay Day — the point in the year at which a black woman working full time in the U.S. has earned the equivalent of her white, male counterpart in 2018 for the same work.
The 80 cents to dollar pay gap between the “average” women working full time and men is well known. It’s equally important to acknowledge that, when the numbers are broken down by race intersectionally, Black women are earning, on average, 61 cents to the dollar when compared to their white male counterparts. The gap is even more stark among Native American and Latina women.
While the status of intersectional pay equity in the tech industry is less bleak than national averages, intolerable inequities persist. Black women in the tech industry currently earn 90 cents on the dollar when compared to their white, male counterparts, according to a report from Hired. This amounts to Black women earning an average of $12,000 less than their white, male counterparts annually for the same work. Black women are also vastly underrepresented in the tech industry, holding less than .5 percent of Silicon Valley tech executive roles.
In addition to pay disparities, corresponding disparities in the level of startup investment Black women receive remains stark. According to Digital Undivided, between 2009 and 2017, Black women–led startups have raised $289MM in venture/angel funding. This represents .0006% of the $424.7 billion in total tech venture funding raised since 2009.
On the political front, in April of this year, the House of Representatives passed the Paycheck Fairness Act, which sought to eliminate loopholes left by the Equal Pay Act of 1963 in an effort to address some of the factors that have allowed pay inequity to persist. Though not unexpected, the Senate has yet to move on the bill since it was referred to the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee back in April.
According to an analysis conducted at the Center for American Progress, in the 100 days following the House bill’s passage alone, gender-pay inequities resulted in more than 55 million full-time working women each earning $2,828.57 less on average than her male counterpart. When broken down by race, an African American woman earned $4,628.57 less than a white man working full time. That’s over $159 billon in collective lost income due to gender inequalities for American women.
Why it Matters
America’s pay inequities for women have been hot topics, but public discourse often fails to acknowledge the intersectional disparities faced by women of color. As we reflect and spread awareness about the level of pay inequality of Black women, be aware that Native Women and Latina/Hispanic women have not yet reached their equal pay days, (calculated for September 23 and November 20, respectively).
At AnitaB.org we are fighting for a future where all women are actually valued for their work, and that requires shining a spotlight where women face the most unjust of inequalities.
Join AnitaB.org on August 22 at 2 p.m. ET alongside Center for American Progress, Equal Rights Advocates, and many others for a Tweet Storm raising awareness to the status of Black women’s pay inequity, using #EqualPayNow. Throughout the day we’ll be sharing information about the continued financial inequities faced by women and women in tech, as well as stories from women who have navigated these systemic failures.
Additionally, AnitaB.org supports transparency and accountability as tools for reaching pay equity, and supports the Paycheck Fairness Act. If you support the Paycheck Fairness Act, you can contact your senator and urge them to support a Senate version of the bill (S.270).