Black Women's Equal Pay Day: Here's why Black women's unequal pay wage affects everyone

Census data shows Black women are paid only 63 cents for every dollar made by a white man.
PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- August 3 is Black Women's Equal Pay Day.

This is the day on the 2021 calendar year that Black women must work to finally catch up to what white, non-Hispanic men earned on the last day of 2020.

The numbers are staggering.

Black women must work 579 days to earn the same pay as a white man's 365 days. That's an extra 214 days of equal work for non-equal pay.

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Here's why experts say this affects everyone.

"Black women represent 80% of the sole breadwinners or co-breadwinners of their homes," says Regina A. Hairston, president and CEO of the African-American Chamber of Commerce of PA, NJ, and DE.

"If they're not making equal pay, then they're not able to take care of their households. The economy as a whole is affected by that. If those households are not thriving and not surviving, then it takes a toll on the entire economy."

Census data shows Black women are paid only 63 cents for every dollar made by white men.

Hairston says the African-American Chamber of Commerce provides a wealth of resources and opportunities for small, Black businesses.

But she says all of us can help bridge this gap. We can start by reaching out to local politicians.

"We want to be able to take care of our families just like everyone else, " Hairston says. "We do the same work and we want equitable pay for it. There has to be a real investment in Black businesses."

Right now, Hairston says only 22% of companies reported salary audits to determine where the gaps are for gender and race.

She says if every company did this, we could make progress at the start of a Black woman's career.

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