The wage gap for Black women compared to non-Hispanic white men is 67 cents for full-time, year-round workers and 64 cents for all workers (including part-time). Black women experience a wage gap at every education level, and the gap is largest for the most educated Black women. During the pandemic, Black women lost income at an incredible rate, many losing their jobs entirely or being forced to choose different jobs with lower pay rates for flexibility to provide care for loved ones. 

The pay gap is not a once in a lifetime event, it adds up over a lifetime costing Black women nearly $1 million over their lifetime and economic stability. The pay gap is a result of systematic racism, classism, and sexism and other types of oppression. Taking action together is the most powerful tool we have to fight inequity. 

Closing the pay gap means facing the issue head-on: having difficult and taboo conversations about money and working together to make sure everyone is paid fairly regardless of who they are and what they look like.

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The Facts

Black women are paid 58 cents for every dollar a white man makes. That means this year a Black woman would have to work an extra nine months to make the same amount. Over a lifetime, this adds up to over $1 million in earnings lost to the wage gap. 

Black women experience a wage gap at every education level, and the gap is largest for the most educated Black women. Black women have the highest student loan debt of any racial or ethnic group, but among doctorate degree holders, Black women typically make 60 percent of what their white, non-Hispanic male counterparts are paid. 

Older workers also face an even larger pay gap from age 45-64, a critical time for women to save and invest for retirement.  

Negotiation Tips

On average, Black women lose a million dollars to the wage gap, many times losing out on pay during the negotiation process. Here are some tips for negotiating for what you deserve. 

Employer Practices

Pay Transparency solves one factor that contributes to the wage gap- secrecy. Being clear about how much employees make and the processes and factors that contribute to salaries can help women and people of color know exactly how much they should be making. Here’s some more info about pay transparency. 

Research: The Unintended Consequences of Pay Transparency

The Entirely Predictable Impact of Salary Transparency

Counteracting Negotiation Biases Like Race and Gender in the Workplace 

Learn More

It’s Time for Policymakers to Step Up for Black Women’s Equal Pay

The Wage Gap Costs Black Women a Staggering $946,120 Over a 40-year Career, NWLC New Analysis Shows

Equal Pay for Black Women

It’s Time to Pay Black Women What They’re Owed

Motherhood Wage Gap for Black Mothers

Counteracting Negotiation Biases Like Race and Gender in the Workplace