Giving Compass' Take:

• Equitable Growth reports on how Black Women's Equal Pay Day reflects the overwhelming injustices that Black women face in the U.S. labor market. 

• How can we achieve equal pay? What are you doing to address structures that inhibit pay equity for Black women?

• Learn more about the continuous neglect of Black women in the United States.

Today is Black Women’s Equal Pay Day. This is the day until when Black women have to work, from the start of 2019 through August 2020, to earn as much as White men earned in 2019 alone. In dollars and cents, Black women who work full-time, year-round earn 62 cents for every one dollar full-time, year-round White men workers earn. Lower earnings year-over-year means a lower level of well-being and increased economic risk in a downturn.

Black women face unique barriers at the intersection of race and gender in the U.S. labor market.

To dig in deeper, we answer five questions about why Black Women’s Equal Pay Day falls more than 7 months into 2020 and what to do about it:

  • What is the role of anti-discrimination enforcement when a large portion of the lower pay received by Black women is due to discrimination, compared to the entire population of women workers?
  • How much are Black women disproportionately crowded into low-wage occupations?
  • How do structural barriers that Black women face increase employers’ monopsony power to exploit workers?
  • How can rejuvinating labor institutions and fostering worker power can help Black women share in the economic growth that they help create?
  • How can labor market policies such as expanding and increasing the minimum wage disproportionately benefit Black women workers?

The answers to these questions demonstrate why Black women have achieved important gains in the U.S. labor market yet still face significant pay disparities due to persistent systemic discrimination. Increasing worker power through collective action and raising the minimum wage are two other critical steps needed to help close the persistent pay gap faced by Black women.

Read the full article about Black Women's Equal Pay Day by Carmen Sanchez Cumming and Kate Bahn at Equitable Growth.