The National Women’s Law Center (NWLC) reveals thirty-nine percent (39%) wage gap between black women and white men after analysis of statistics from the 2018 United States (US) Census Bureau. Data show that black women received sixty-one (61) cents to every one dollar ($1) earned by white men.
The disparity is more evident among female minority groups when it is compared to the US overall women who earned eighty (80) cents to every dollar paid to their white male counterparts which equate to twenty-one percent (21) less pay for black women.
This meant that in the course of forty (40) years spent in career, it would show about nine hundred and forty-six thousand dollars ($946,000) of the staggering wage gap, as claimed by the research.
August 22 was celebrated as the Black Women’s Equal Pay Day which aims to raise awareness of the disparity regarding the wage gap.
The day marked on how black women took approximately twenty (20) years to catch up with the same amount of average annual salary of white men.
The National Women’s Law Center is a United States non-profit organization founded by Marcia Greenberger in 1972 and based in Washington, D.C. The Center advocates for women’s rights through litigation and policy initiatives.
Staggering wage gap and inequality
The gender wage gap has been going on since before. After income reforms regarding gender for decades, the wages of black women appear to be left behind.
In the survey of the Black Women’s Equal Pay 2019, only more than one (1) in three (3) Americans lack awareness about the wage gap crisis between black women and whiter men.
The LeanIn.Org co-founder and CEO, Rachel Thomas, stated that “black women and their families certainly feel the effects” even if the majority of the population are oblivious about income inequality.
Over eighty percent (80%) of black women are the main financial provider for their families.
To take care of their families, women are more inclined to work part-time or have time-off over the course of their careers than their male counterparts.
However, regardless of the age and personal background, the wage gap doesn’t play in these variables as the Census data revealed.
In fact, the pay gap widens as women progress to have undergraduate and advanced degrees in their educational pursuit as it was presented in Lean In. Based on the weekly earnings, men start to get ahead from having five hundred and eighty-four dollars ($584) in contrast to black women’s wage of four hundred and fifty dollars ($450).
The haul begins to stretch as early as having less than a high school diploma up to having an advanced degree at their disposal.
As if that wasn’t enough, data shows that the pay gap starts on an average of sixteen (16) years of age.
From that point, the disparity only widens until over age fifty-five (55) years. The average annual salary of a typical low-paying job for black women is twenty-three thousand and six hundred dollars ($23,000) while white men have a starting pay of thirty thousand dollars ($30,000).
In high-paying career positions, the gap is even more apparent.
The same position that black women attain in high-paying fields such as law, engineering and medical has an average salary of seventy thousand dollars ($70,000) which pales in comparison to white males annual pay of one hundred and five thousand dollars ($105,000).
To resolve the pay discrimination, a congressional bill called Paycheck Fairness Act was sent to the Senate this year but has yet to receive a final word whether it is going to be put into effect or not.
For all women not white…
Working an additional four months to receive equal pay sounds absurd, but consider this reality: For African-American women, Equal Pay Day won’t be recognized until August 22. For Native American and Latina women, Equal Pay Day won’t be recognized until September 23 and November 20.
Asian-American and Pacific Islander women reached Equal Pay Day on March 5, but massive pay gaps persist between subgroups. White women will wait a few days after April 2 for their Equal Pay Day to be recognized on April 19.
Meanwhile, in 2016, Asians were the highest-earning racial and ethnic group in the U.S. The median annual income for Asian adults was $51,288, compared with $47,958 for whites and $31,082 for blacks. Why is that? This matter of the wage gap in the US is becoming more interesting.