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Black Women’s Equal Pay Day: The Fight for Wage Equality

Black Women’s Equal Pay Day: The Fight for Wage Equality
In this article
  • Pay disparities will stay in the dark unless pay transparency is encouraged.

  • Setting an individual’s new salary based on their previous salary, means you’re okay with paying salaries that are infected with discrimination.

  • Establishing an equal pay “right to request” or “bill of rights” would help employees access basic information about pay practices.

Black Women’s Equal Pay Day, August 3, is the day when Black women finally catch up to the earnings their White male counterparts received in the previous year.

Unfortunately, the pay gap between Black women and White men is not new. Black women in the US are paid 37% less than White men and 20% less than White women.

Every employee deserves to be paid fairly for their work—Black women even more so because they have been facing the brunt of discrimination for years. And the time for action against pay discrimination is long overdue!

If employers are intentional in addressing pay disparities experienced by Black women—we can get there faster. And today, the need for action at all levels to address pay discrimination is critical!

So, here are 6 ways employers can address Black women’s pay gap.

Transparency always

Well, you know what they say about transparency in marriages, the same goes for your workplaces. Pay disparities will stay in the dark unless pay transparency is encouraged. This will help Black women know where pay gaps exist.

When employers provide transparency about pay differences broken down by factors like race, gender, and ethnicity it will pave the way for closing pay gaps.

Also Know: Women’s Equality: 6 ways to shrink the gender pay gap

Raise the minimum wage

As a matter of fact, Black women are known to work in low-wage jobs, particularly those that pay minimum wage.

So how do make ends meet for black women? Raise the minimum wage and eliminate the tipped wage and subminimum wage for employees—it’s as simple as that! Employers are capable to increase the wages of employees working in minimum wage jobs.

Disregard salary history for compensation decisions

The past is in the past. Salary history hinders black women with skills from being paid what they deserve. Employers can prohibit the use of salary history when making compensation decisions. If a black woman’s skills are going to do your company some good, you might as well resort to fair pay for fair work.

Setting an individual’s new salary based on their previous salary, means you’re okay with paying salaries that are infected with discrimination. Yikes! You don’t want to fall in that category—the kind of employer who is considered shallow.

Also Know: Keeping Up With Kim Kardashian: How her net worth drives charity

Encourage equal pay ‘right to request’

AKA “bill of rights”. Most employees are left in the dark about how pay decisions are made in their workplaces. So, establishing an equal pay “right to request” or “bill of rights” would help employees access basic information about pay practices and policies.

This information establishes a baseline level of understanding for Black women especially thereby allowing clarity transparency about their employer’s pay policies.

See also about: Women’s Equality: 6 ways to shrink the gender pay gap

Elevate Black women into leadership positions

Heck yeah! Did you know that greater numbers of women in leadership reduce different forms of workplace discrimination like sexual harassment? And it doesn’t stop there, it also expands opportunities for women.

Increasing the number of Black women at the high levels of an organization breaks previously impenetrable glass ceilings and broaden perceptions that Black women can fit in and lead a company just as well as their white counterparts.

Employers should undertake targeted efforts to include Black women at every level—on boards, in leadership, and in managerial roles. This will ensure that Black women are seen as valued workers.

See also about: Black Women’s History Month: Check out the Historic Events

Provide anti-bias training for all employees

No more bias! Pay gaps are rooted in different forms of bias. Employers should encourage anti-bias training and combat workplace biases that devalue the contributions of Black women. 

This will also call out discriminatory attitudes at the workplace and create more equitable environments for employees.

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Shirlene Grace Isaac

Shirlene Grace Isaac

Shirlene puts words on the Internet because she loves to do so and also for the money! She is a singer, songwriter, occasional poet, artist and muser — all in the body of a 20 something. She's a taleteller of sorts often looking for opportunities to narrate stories untold.

This page is purely informational. Beem does not provide financial, legal or accounting advice. This article has been prepared for informational purposes only. It is not intended to provide financial, legal or accounting advice and should not be relied on for the same. Please consult your own financial, legal and accounting advisors before engaging in any transactions.

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