Black Women's Equal Pay Day: Wage Gaps Persist in Indiana
Thursday, July 27, 2023
Today is Black Women's Equal Pay Day. It represents the "extra" months a Black woman, working full time, has to work to earn the same pay as a white man did last year.
According to the National Partnership for Women and Families, Black women in Indiana typically earn only 61 cents for every dollar paid to white men among full-time, year-round workers, which is worse than the national average of 67 cents.
Doneisha Posey, a civil rights attorney and pay equity expert, said although Black women are becoming the most educated demographic in the United States, they still face barriers restricting their access to higher-paying positions.
"The Supreme Court's decision in the affirmative action cases for race-conscious admissions is also another threat to perpetuate those disparities in access and opportunities for Black women in education," Posey pointed out.
In Central Indiana, Black women lose more than $900,000 over a 40-year career due to unequal pay. The National Women's Law Center also claims sexism, racism and a lack of support for caregiving responsibilities lead to some experiencing occupational segregation in low-paid jobs. Black women account for 6% of the workforce, but nearly 9% of the low-paid workforce, in the U.S.
Equalpaytoday.org is among the groups calling for federal lawmakers to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act to close loopholes allowing employers to pay women less than men for the same work. It also would protect workers from retaliation for discussing pay, and ban the use of prior salary history in determining future pay.
Posey noted other strategies could be implemented.
"Really focusing on legislation, doing internal pay equity audits, and doing some more cultural building around workplace diversity, equity and inclusion would be my suggestions for helping Black women receive the pay that they deserve," Posey recommended.
The Paycheck Fairness Act was introduced in the U.S. House in March, and is still stuck in committee.
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