63 Is Not 100: Black Women’s Equal Pay Day Aims To End Disparities

Sixty three cents on the dollar. That is what a black woman earns compared to a white man for the same work. White women earn 79 cents in the same comparison, and an Asian American woman makes 87 cents compared to the $1 a white man earns in the same position.So a black woman has to work 200 more days a year – or 565 days — to make the same as a man makes in 365 days. That is why Black Women’s Equal pay Day is August 7 of this year.“I dare say it doesn’t matter what industry, or whether you are an employer, employee or entrepreneur,” says Felicia Davis, leadership consultant and Take The Lead leadership ambassador. The disparity is similar.That is the impetus behind Davis organizing and hosting Black Women’s Equal Pay Day  networking mixer and leadership salon in Tempe, Arizona August 7. The mission is “to have an honest conversation around the racial disparity that black women are up against and discuss ways to break through in spite of those disparities.”[bctt tweet=“A black woman has to work for 565 days to make the same amount a man makes in 365 days. That is why #BlackWomensEqualPay Day is August 7 of this year.” username=“takeleadwomen”]In addition to Davis, speakers for the evening event include Laya Gavin, CEO of the EXIT Realty Group; Kami Hoskins, attorney; Lisa Cagnolatti-Daniels, retired vp of customer service at Southern California Edison; Kisshell Wilson, IT manager of SRP; and Trineka Greer, communications expert.The networking event will focus on the three pillars of leadership, communication and negotiation, says Davis, who has been an HR executive for more than 20 years including working for NCR, Kodak, Manpower, T-Mobile and Chubb Insurance.“To be in the driver’s seat takes effort, commitment and strategy,” says Davis.Read more in Take The Lead on leadership lessons for black womenSeveral myths about black women in the workplace can impede a woman’s progress, Davis says. “There is inequity and the myth is we can’t do anything about it.”Another myth, Davis says, is that, “You cannot go back and change history,” to correct the pay inequity. “You can stop repeating the narrative and thinking there is nothing I can do and what I do won’t matter.”Read more in Take The Lead on black women leadersShe adds, “You can take control if you do this as a collective,” Davis says, “and you can help other women rise.”[bctt tweet=“August 7 is #BlackWomensEqualPay Day! Join TakeLeadWomen leadership ambassador womenpoweredup for a networking mixer and leadership salon in Tempe, AZ on August 7.” username=“takeleadwomen”]According to Black Enterprise, “Investment in black female founders—who in recent years have been starting businesses at higher rates than any other group, so they’re not hard to find—was barely discernible, at .02 percent,” of venture capitalist funding in 2017.But it is improving.“According to the new report, which was conducted in collaboration with digitalundividedJPMorgan Chase, the Case Foundation, and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, the number of black women who have raised upwards of $1 million from VC firms has more than tripled from 11 to 34. The number of startups founded by black women has also increased 2.5 times from 2016 to 2018, jumping from 84 to 227,” writes Sequoia Blodgett in Black Enterprise.The pay gap endured by black women in the workplace can be complicated by debt incurred for college.[bctt tweet=“The pay gap endured by black women in the workplace can be complicated by debt incurred for college. #BlackWomensEqualPay #DemandMore” username=“takeleadwomen”]“Black women have been pegged as the most educated demographic in America — yet the acclaim has left many drowning in thousands of dollars worth of debt with no end in sight. A recently released report from the American Association of University Women, or AAUW, showed that Black women average about $30,400 in debt by graduation compared to the $22,000 amassed by white women and $19,500 white men owe,” writes Tanasia Kenney, writing in Atlanta Black Star.Some states are addressing the pay disparities—deeply affecting women of color—with new laws.Read more in Take The Lead on leadership lessons for black women“The Massachusetts Equal Pay Act went into effect July 1. The updated law has been called one of the strongest in the country. It’s aimed at closing the pay gap between men and women. Among its provisions – employers can no longer ask a job applicant about how much they made at their previous job,” according to NPR.The August 7 event is hosted by Davis and the The Black Women’s Collective is “a carefully curated community of conscious thought-leaders and industry experts working collaboratively to help Black women crack the code of leadership success.”Davis says the goal is to help black women leaders address the questions that arise on their career paths. Those include:

  • How do I build the right relationships that are critical to my success?

  • How do I breakthrough things like fear, comparison and the imposter syndrome?

  • How do I get visible in a way that powerfully positions my skills and expertise?

  • How do I lead when I’m not in charge?

  • How do I use my voice in a way that has impact, influence and relevance?

  • How do I enter high-stakes conversations with the clarity, competence and confidence necessary to create a win/win outcome?

  • How do I rebrand and bounce back from a mistake?

Davis, who was named a “Woman of Excellence” by the National Council of Negro Women, says she looks forward to the August 7 event including about 50 local entrepreneurs and leaders.[bctt tweet=“The advice @womenpoweredup has for young women is that success is imminent when you’re clear about what you want and what success looks like to you. You have to be clear and intentional about surrounding yourself with people who will support you. #DemandMore #BlackWomensEqualPay” username=“takeleadwomen”]Her advice to young women is that success is imminent when “you are clear about what you want and what success looks like to you. You have to be clear and intentional about surrounding yourself with people who will support you.”