Growing up I watched my mother go to work every single day. She worked as a Provisional Specialist for Ohio Bell (now AT&T). For a long time I was like, “Wow, my mom has a great paying job with a fancy title”. She had a union and all seemed well. As I got older saw that she needed two jobs to make ends meet – still with this fancy title and not earning enough to cover the basics.
I knew then something was not right, but didn’t have the knowledge or language of “Equal Pay” and “Pay Equity”. I watched her work from early morning hours to late at night and do it all over again, five days a week. All I could think was, “Ima find me an even better job with a fancier title so I wouldn’t have to work that hard”.
My mom gave over 30 years to one company, working 40 hours a week. Studies show that a Black woman who works 40 years, at 40 hours a week loses an average of $946,120 over the course of her working life. Can you imagine how my brothers’ and my lives could have been different without this wage gap? 64 percent of Black mothers are the PRIMARY or SOLE breadwinners for their family. My mother was a single parent my entire life. The gender wage gap impacts Black women, children and families.
For the last three years I have been spending a great deal of time working to combat the gender gap, specifically for Black woman. Through education and policy I do think we can end this wage gap, and stop the stories and struggles of Black mothers. I am raising a daughter myself now. When she is old enough to work, I want her to be able to comfortably support herself and honestly not have to continue with this fight.
Join me in this fight for #BlackWomensEqualPay. To get involved with 9to5 email me firstname.lastname@example.org #CloseTheWageGap #GenderGap4BlackWomen