By Jannah Bolds
EIC, The Bold Opinion
Did you even know BWEPD was a thing?
Black women are systematically disenfranchised, devalued, and under-appreciated, not only in the work field but in the grand scheme of life. But today, we’re here to talk about working without equal pay.
Statistically, Black women are paid only 62 cents to the Caucasian male’s $1.00. Multiply that over a 40-year career, and Black women are robbed of $1M in their lifetimes, so take that to the bank. BWEPD is not just a day to bring awareness to a cause. It has a solid meaning whereas the date fluctuates annually based on how far into the current year the average working Black woman in the US must work to catch up with the average non-Hispanic White man’s earning from the year before! For 2020, the date falls a full eight months and thirteen days in. In 2019, Black women didn’t earn their equal pay status until August 22, and yes, we are seeing growth, but at a very slow and depressing rate. One of which, I will not see in my lifetime.
According to a report by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, Black women are projected to finally close that racial and gender inequalitative gap in 2130, another 110 years from now, to catch up to the earnings of White men. Download the report to learn more about occupational segregation and other factors that contribute to the wage gap.
Wheeww, I’m exhausted!
So if you’re like me, you threw your towel in, stepped out on faith, and either started your own businesses or made plans to cashout independently. I knew that Black women were underpaid and undervalued in the workplace, but I did not understand the magnitude backed with statistical value until last year.
“How can we make things better?”, you might ask. Well here are a few ways that can actually help hard-working Black women today.
A) Give Credit Where Credit is Due
The workplace is a savage place! I have experienced and been told many stories about the ideas of a black woman being overlooked and underestimated, for whatever reason, and then the idea resurfaces from someone else’s mouth later on, praised, glorified, and dripped in gold! it’s absolutely frustrating. To set things straight in the workplace, verbally support brilliance, go the extra mile to write or express recommendations, and don’t outsource for higher positions — train/hire within instead. It’s honestly not a hard thing to do, just get off your high horse and do it.
B) Flag Blatant Discrimination
We’ve all seen it, so we know what it looks like. I don’t even think it needs an explanation.
C) Get Involved
Most of the time, Black women know and feel how undervalued they are in the workplace. So much to where they will start to do a little investigating, and discover an unpleasant truth. There are existing organizations to help level out equal pay discrimination like the Equal Rights Advocates, National Women’s Law Center, Equal Pay Today, and many more. Research!