Johnnetta Betsch Cole, Ph.D.

I am wearing red today, and I hope you are in solidarity with Black Women’s Equal Pay Day.

On average, all women are paid 82% of what a White man is paid. But on average, Black women are paid 63% of what White men are paid. That means that it takes a Black woman 19 months to earn what a White man earns in 12 months.

Why is it that Black women have to work seven extra months in order to earn the same pay as a male co-worker? Because, as noted in a study by the Association of University Women, Black women and girls live at the intersection of racism and sexism. While these two forms of systemic inequality are manifested differently, their effects are compounded when a person experiences both at the same time. This study by the Association of University Women concludes that intersectional discrimination perpetuates the racial and gender wealth gaps, limits Black women’s access to educational opportunities, and impedes Black women’s career advancement.

What happens to Black women in terms of pay and wealth disparities clearly affects them, and these disparities also affect the people around them. 80% of Black mothers are the sole breadwinners, the co-breadwinners or the primary breadwinners for their households.

In response to the blatant injustice in the pay gap and wealth gap experienced by Black women, here is what every member of NCNW can do.

  • Congresswoman Alma Adams has put forth the Black Women’s Equal Pay Resolution. Call your representatives in Congress and tell them to support this resolution.

Johnnetta Betsch Cole, Ph.D.
National chair and seventh president

“Persist in the struggle to close the wage gap”

The National Council of Negro Women, Inc. (NCNW) mission is to lead, empower and advocate for women of African descent, their families and communities.