July 27th is Black Women’s Equal Pay Day Lawmakers Must Root Out Structural Racism and Sexism Pervading Our Economy

July 31, 2023

Black Women’s Equal Pay Day is Thursday, July 27. Over the course of a 40-year career, Black women lose an estimated $964,400 to the wage gap. Author and career coach Octavia Goredema explains the frustration some Black female professionals feel acknowledging the day. “It shines a spotlight on the vast and debilitating impact of inequity for Black women in the workplace. Sadly, we don’t need studies to prove what we experience day in and day out. Our worth is undervalued by the systemic inequities we face every day. We are hired at lower rates. We are retained at lower rates. We are paid at lower rates. We are promoted at lower rates.”

Statement from leaders of MomsRising, the online and on-the-ground organization of more than one million mothers and their families, on Black Women’s Equal Pay Day, July 27 – the day that marks how long Black women have to work in 2023 to catch up to what white, non-Hispanic men were typically paid in 2022.

“[July 27th] is a painful reminder that Black women must work nearly 19 months to be paid what White men are paid in 12. The wage gap is an appalling symptom of structural racism and sexism in our country, and it causes real harm to hard-working Black women, families and communities. This unjust, unjustifiable wage gap will persist until Congress takes meaningful action to close it.

“It is unacceptable that in the United States today, Black women working full-time are paid just 67 cents on average compared to white men, and Black women working part-time just 64 cents. Because our economy punishes caregiving, Black moms face an even more damaging wage gap, and are paid just 54 cents on the dollar compared to white dads – making it harder for their families to put food on the table, access child care and health care, save for retirement, and more.

“Congress must root out systemic racism and sexism in our workplaces and economy, and enactment of the Paycheck Fairness Act would be a meaningful step forward. It would promote pay transparency, protect workers from retaliation, and end the use of salary histories in hiring and increase penalties for discrimination. Our families and communities cannot wait any longer for progress.” – Statement of Taylor Austin, Campaign Manager, Workplace Justice, MomsRising

“We know the public investments that would help end the shameful wage gap that does so much harm to Black women and families, and create a more just economy. Child care and early learning for all. A minimum wage that is a living wage. Paid family and medical leave. Elder and disability care. Secure access to health care and abortion care. These policies have broad public support, and it’s past time for Congress to act. Governors and state officials must also address the wage gap’s root causes, including occupational segregation. We are counting on our state leaders to ensure the investments included in the Infrastructure and Jobs Act lead to high-paying, good quality jobs for Black women, who have historically been excluded from the jobs these investments support.

“No one should be shortchanged on her paycheck due to her gender or race. This injustice is just one of many forms of discrimination Black women face – in our economy, our health care system, and our criminal justice system. We will continue to fight until we dismantle structural racism and sexism in all their forms.” – Statement of Monifa Bandele, Senior Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer, MomsRising

MomsRising.org is an on-the-ground and online grassroots organization of more than a million people who are working to increase family economic security, stop discrimination against women and moms, and build a nation where businesses and families can thrive. Established in 2006, MomsRising and its members are organizing and speaking out to improve public policy and to change the national dialogue on issues that are critically important to America’s families, including criminal justice reform, immigration policy reform, and gun safety.