Yesterday was Black Women’s Equal Pay Day. This day highlights the wealth gap that exists between black women and white men, a larger gap than the one that exists between white women and white men. By today’s statistics, black women would have to work nearly 600 days to earn what white men earn in 365. That means that black women have to work nearly two years to earn what white men earned in 2018.
This chasm is felt hardest by families and partnerships that solely consist of women and/or gender non-conforming individuals. Currently, there has not been enough research conducted on how the wealth gap effects trans and gender non-conforming individuals. Each partner in lesbian and bisexual partnerships consisting of cisgendered women makes 39% less than white men. It can feel like a double whammy for partnerships in which all parties also have to foot the bill for the woman tax, or the pink tax.
It should be noted that Latin American women earn even less. According to Lean In, Latin American women earn 47% less than white men, compared to black women who earn 39% less. As with black LGBT+ individuals, partnerships, and families, Latin American LGBT+ carry the brunt of the wealth gap burden, some do so while also paying the pink tax.
What can be done? Many so-called experts place the burden of equal pay on employees’ shoulders. But research shows employees are doing their part, and asking for raises at similar rates. Women of color, however, fair worse when asking for career advancement when compared to white women and white men. Adam of Adam Ruins Everything proposes to blow the lid on salary secrecy in the video below. By not sharing salary rates with one another, employees place all of their negotiating power in the employer’s hands. With salary transparency, employees are afforded more knowledge and therefore more power to negotiate based on their education level and experience rather than what the employer feels an employee should earn. Employees will likely have better morale when they are being paid an equal rate for education and experience as their counterparts, regardless of race, gender, or orientation.