The Simple Truth: In Recognition of African American
Women Equal Pay Day
Would you like to work seven extra months for free just to earn the same paycheck as your male co-workers? Unfortunately, if you’re a black woman in the United States, that’s a likely reality. On average, black women were paid 63 percent of what non-Hispanic white men were paid. That means it takes the typical black woman 19 months to be paid what the average white man takes home in 12 months.
To bring attention to this pay gap, AAUW Carlisle partnered with Hope Station, Bethel AME Church, and the YWCA Carlisle and held a community meeting on August 7, 2018, Black Women Equal Pay Day. Registered attendees were encourage to read the following prior to the event.
- AAUW’s research The Simple Truth. https://www.aauw.org/research/the-simple-truth-about-the-gender-pay-gap/
- Black Women and The Gender Pay Gap. https://carlisle-pa.aauw.net/black-women-and-the-wage-gap/
- National Women’s Law Center https://nwlc.org/resources/equal-pay-for-black-women/
- Institute for Women’s Policy Research https://michronicleonline.com/2018/06/14/study-shows-black-women-work-harder-and-longer-for-less/
Pat LaMarche moderated the evening. Donna Bickford, AAUW Carlisle member, Director, Women’s and Gender Resource Center and Professor at Dickinson College provided an overview of the data and explored some of the reasons. Stacey Moultry, Visiting Instructor in American Studies at Dickinson College put the gender pay gap into historical perspective.
In small groups, attendees discussed questions designed to reflect on their own experiences and generate ideas for positive change. Ann Pehle, AAUW Carlisle President offered an overview of Pennsylvania legislation and actions individuals can take.
The evening was a success. Interested attendees signed up for Action Alerts in order to stay informed and engaged with this issue from a legislative perspective. And, organizers are already planning how to bring Work Smart, AAUW’s salary negotiation workshop to Carlisle.
The Gender Wage Gap — Where Are We?
In 2017, median annual earnings in the U.S. for men working full time, year-round were $52,146, compared to just $41,977 for women, according to the most recent census data. That means women were paid just 80 percent of men’s earnings — a gap of 20 percent. The gap narrowed over the past half-century, but progress has stalled in recent years.
In Pennsylvania, we mirrored the national results in 2017 with a 20% wage gap for women. This reflects a one point improvement over the previous year but still leaves the women of our state disadvantaged relative to the male population. AAUW’s research report, The Simple Truth, not only provides the daunting statistics around the equal pay issue but also explains the wage gap in the U.S., how it affects women of all ages, races and educational levels and what we can all do to close the gap.
Want to learn more about the Gender Wage Gap? Read a summary of one of our Topic Talks that discusses this important issue.
Carlisle Branch participated in the Rally and Lobby Day events planned by AAUW-PA on April 10, 2018 at the capitol.