“The extreme pay gap Black women in this country continue to face is shameful and damaging. In the United States today, Black women are paid just 61 cents on average for every dollar paid to white, non-Hispanic men. Over a 40-year career, this punitive gap adds up to more than $946,000 in lost wages – and the gaps are even worse for Black moms, making just 54 cents for every dollar paid to white fathers. These lost wages could make an enormous difference in the lives of Black families, who could use that money to pay for rent, housing, clothing, education, childcare, health care and more.
“A Black woman should not have to work nearly 20 months to be paid what white men are paid in 12. This racist, sexist gap harms individuals, families and our economy. There is no justification for it, and it must end.
“The Black women’s wage gap, which persists across occupations and levels of education, is part of our country’s long, painful history of structural racism and sexism, which continues today. But there are concrete, feasible steps Congress could and should take to help close it. The U.S. House of Representatives has already taken important steps forward by passing the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would increase pay transparency and strengthen penalties for wage discrimination, as well as the Raise the Wage Act, which would provide a much-needed boost to low-income workers. It is past time for the U.S. Senate to stop blocking progress and do the same. And both the House and the Senate should prioritize policies that boost working families, including paid family and medical leave, affordable childcare, paid sick days and more.
“We can’t afford to wait any longer for fair pay. Congress must take action to help ensure Black women don’t continue to endure a discriminatory wage gap, year after year. We will continue to raise our voices until equal pay is a reality for everyone.”