RELEASE: Black Women’s Equal Pay Day Highlights Need To Address Race and Gender Pay Biases That Propel Discrimination

Washington, D.C. — Today, the Center for American Progress released a new column on Black Women’s Equal Pay Day, which marks the estimated number of months—roughly eight months—that a Black woman working full-time year-round in the United States had to work into the current year to have earned what her white male counterpart earned during the preceding year. In 2017, Black women working full-time year-round earned just 61 cents for every dollar earned by white men, amounting to $23,653 less in earnings over an entire year. This translates to more than $946,000 in lost earnings over the course of a 40-year career. The column includes a series of recommendations to combat the race and gender pay gap.

These findings are of particular concern given the vital role that Black women play in their families; they are more likely to be a sole, co-, or primary breadwinner. The pay disparities experienced by Black women are compounded by entrenched biases around race and gender and occupational segregation that too often has resulted in Black women working in fields that offer fewer benefits and workplace protections.

“The race and gender pay gap facing Black women in this country is not new and not only continues to erode Black women’s economic standing, but also the hampers the economic stability of their families and our greater economy,” said Jocelyn Frye, senior fellow with CAP’s Women’s Initiative. “It is long past time for policymakers to take intentional steps to confront pay discrimination head on and pursue the structural changes that will be necessary to allow Black women to thrive. That requires greater transparency, strengthened workplace protections, and new avenues for seeking justice for those who have been wronged.”

Please click here to read “Racism and Sexism Combine To Shortchange Working Black Women” by Jocelyn Frye.

For more information or to speak with an expert, please contact Colin Seeberger at or 202.741.6292.