For all of us to have equal pay, we need to rally for each other and ourselves to ensure Black women and all women of color are getting every cent we’re owed, so we never have to recognize another “equal pay day” again.
We want to imagine a world where Black Women’s Equal Pay Day doesn’t exist. But on this day, September 21st specifically, it does because the reality is that Black women in the United States who work full time, year-round, are typically paid just 64 cents for every dollar paid to caucasian men. As we fight for equal pay across the board, we need to recognize that if all women of color have different “equal pay days,” across the year, then we have to work collectively to ensure that all of us are getting paid equally and rally for each other.
Today, we’re amplifying the voices Afro-Latinas within the #WeAllGrow community who are making their demands heard and are taking power into their own hands, so they don’t have to live in a world where we have to recognize another “equal pay day,” when we have anything but equal pay.
What actions can business owners or employees take to ensure Black women get paid what they deserve?
“In my humble opinion, the Black community at large needs to stop looking to communities who have in history destroyed our progress for support and allyship, and seek to become our own security.”
-Nydia Simone, Founder of Blactina
“As an Afro-Latina co-owned company and an organization that works directly with Black and Brown creators, makers, and entrepreneurs, we have witnessed the intersection between ensuring Black women get paid what they deserve and their well-being. Equal pay supports Black women’s dreams, overall well-being and, most importantly, creates generational wealth. A big part of making sure we transition to a world of racial equity and respect for Black women involves changing and adjusting the current laws in place. This fight is far beyond advocating but also shifting the gears from awareness to action. In addition, promoting a workplace where Black women can speak about their wages without holding back. Also, including Black women in the conversation will directly impact the trajectory as we continue to make progress collectively.”
– Valerie Diaz and Gelly Guzman, Founders of Raices Media
“What needs to happen: Black women need to be paid, period. I’d like to see companies publish they’re current and historical salaries per gender and race/ethnicity. Transparency is key to addressing the gap. I’d also like to see a form of equity backpay for Black women that have been lowballed/underpaid. It’s not enough to promote us and give us a fancy title, our pay needs to match what white men are getting paid. It actually should supersede what white men get paid, because we do more. By simply showing up we’re working twice if not three times as hard.”
“In my humble opinion the Black community at large needs to stop looking to communities who have history destroyed our progress for support and allyship and seek to become our own security.”
Nydia Simone, Founder of Blactina
“Black women, we are the whole movement. Period. All eyes are on us when we walk into any room, especially when we’re about our bread and butter. Relentlessly mastering our skills by acquiring multiple degrees/certificates, wearing multiple hats, exceeding all metrics, and working long hours, yet when we demand to be paid our market value, somehow, companies find a B.S. reason to justify not to pay us. Companies are banking bag rolls of money, their biggest asset is their employees and then their shareholders.”
– Joanis Duran, Founder of Kalani & Wolf
What would our society and world look like if the Black Women’s Equal Pay gap was closed?
“Throughout history Black women have made great progress when it comes to working towards closing the gender gap. However, it is fair to say that we still live in a world where Black women are underrepresented. In a world where there will be no gender gap in addition to racial equity, Black women would be able to thrive in a great number of industries. With our contributions, many industries will be disrupted for the better. So far, we have proven that we are unstoppable and unsinkable, but imagine living a world where the system would work for us and not against us.”
– Valerie Diaz and Gelly Guzman Raices Media
“My advice to Black women who are tired of the nonsense is quit! I did it and turned in my immediate resignation because I don’t have time for two weeks notice when my value and power is ME.”
Joanis Duran, founder of Kalani & Wolf
“Businesses have no business being open if they can’t pay employees their equal market value, especially when the CEO and shareholders’ salaries are in the six-figure. My advice to Black women who are tired of the nonsense is quit! Invest in yourself by starting your own business. Hey – starting your own business isn’t for everyone, and that is okay, too. Hundreds of businesses out there walk the talk, who know the value of their team members and want your talent on their team – so go out there, apply somewhere else where you’ll never look back, and be glad you left. I did it and turned in my immediate resignation because I don’t have time for two weeks notice when my value and power is ME.”
– Joanis Duran, Founder of Kalani & Wolf
“What would our society look like: We can’t celebrate equity and equality if only certain groups benefit from it. Black/Black Latina women have influenced culture all over the world and most times are the backbone of many of the companies, businesses, etc, that we love. With the gap being closed, a domino effect would take place. With better pay comes better finances, with better finances comes a plethora of opportunities both familial and personal. Balance, ease, access, wellness, mental health, wealth, etc. All things that Black women deserve.”
About the Author
Chantelle Bacigalupo is #WeAllGrow Latina’s Editorial Staff Writer. She is a Bolivian-American photographer, multimedia journalist, and activist based in Brooklyn, NY. Her work focuses on issues ranging across immigration, social & environmental justice, preserving Indigenous cultures, and reproductive justice. You can read more of her pieces here.