Today, some of the most respected women in Hollywood have hopped on social media to push #BlackWomenEqualPay Day – a national holiday meant to spread awareness about the fact that the gender pay gap hits Black women the hardest. To no surprise, the stats detailing just how much less Black women are earning in comparison to other genders/races are truly startling.
Remy Ma posted a pic wearing the holiday’s designated “phenomenal woman” tee, and shared some SMH-worthy facts along with it. “July 31 is Black Women’s Equal Pay Day, which represents the number of days into 2017 a Black woman must work to earn the same pay a white man made in 2016 — that’s nearly 8 extra months!”
Serena Williams, who has been a loud and proud advocate of gender equality throughout her athletic career, also showed love for the cause in her Phenomenal Woman tee.
In addition to her Instagram post, the tennis champion and mommy-to-be penned an Op Ed in Fortune describing while announcing her partnership with SurveyMonkey. “Even Black women who have earned graduate degrees get paid less at every level. This is as true in inner cities as it is in Silicon Valley,” she writes. “We need to push this issue to the front of conversations so that employers across the U.S. can truly understand that all male and female employees must be compensated equally.”
Issa Rae got in formation with this very important cause. Fittingly, the character Molly on her show Insecure is currently at her whits end after mistakenly finding out that her white male coworker makes significantly more than her (we’d be fuming too!)
July 31 is Black Women's Equal Pay Day. Black women are the cornerstone of our communities, they are phenomenal, and they deserve equal pay. pic.twitter.com/r9fYWACyjp
— Issa Rae (@IssaRae) July 31, 2017
Black-ish actress Tracee Ellis Ross tweeted in solidarity with BWEP.
— Tracee Ellis Ross (@TraceeEllisRoss) July 31, 2017
Actress and transgender activist Laverne Cox spoke up for the cause as well.
Some other mind blowing facts proving why this holiday is so important:
– Even though young Black women are now the most educated group in the country (according to the National Center for Education Statistics, they are also more likely to live in poverty and are still paid less than their white colleagues.
– Based on today’s wage gap, Black women would lose $840,040 over the course of a 40-year career compared to white, non-Hispanic men, as found by the National Women’s Law Center
– The difference in pay for Black women speaks volumes about racial wealth gap. A recent study found that it would take the average Black household 228 years to accumulate the wealth of their white counterparts today.
In other words…
Debra Wilson, formerly of MADtv, addresses the importance of Black female comedians in entertainment.