August 23rd is African American Women’s Equal Pay Day. This date represents the approximate day that black women must work to in the current year to make the same amount of money men did in the previous year. In other words, the equal pay calculation means that a woman must have worked all of one year and eight months to be paid what men were paid in one year alone.
This underscores the fact that professional challenges still exist for African American Women today. These challenges include:
Race-based pay discrimination:
According to the National Committee for Pay Equity, Black women only earn 64 cents to a man’s dollar while women, in general, earn 78 cents. This persists even though black women have made significant gains in education.
Black women are clustered in lower-paying jobs:
According to a study by Georgetown University, blacks hold fewer degrees that can lead to jobs in higher paying Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) fields. Instead, they tend to cluster in lower-paying fields like social work and earn about $40,000 in median income vs. $84.000 median income in a STEM field.
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