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Today is Equal Pay Day for Black Women

July 31, 2017

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Today is Equal Pay Day for Black Women

July 31, 2017

With a pay gap of 37%, black women would have to work until today (July 31) for their average earnings to catch up to what white non-hispanic men earned in 2016.

This pay gap doesn’t do justice to the talent and contributions of black women. In fact, they're leading many of the indicators of progress in the U.S.:

 

Here are a few things we can do in LA to support black girls and women in our community:

How is Lean In addressing the wage gap?

Lean In has an Equal Pay Campaign to spread awareness about the wage gap. Lean In's national organization and its local chapters also provide education and events about negotiation, networking, entrepreneurship, visibility, and policy.

 

Asking women their salary history perpetuates the wage gap

In our Lean in LA chapter, we’re also fighting the wage gap by addressing a major business practice that perpetuates it. When prospective employers ask applicants to disclose their salary histories, the wage gap is perpetuated. In general, women’s early earnings are artificially lowered by structural inequalities and cultural disadvantages. These artificially low salaries then follow women throughout their careers. 

 

People are generally advised to avoid disclosing one’s salary history. Payscale found that men get a higher salary offer when they follow this advice but women are actually penalized and still receive a disproportionately lower offer. In short, no matter the tactic that women use to address the salary history question, their ability to negotiate is still obstructed.

 

Though women are affected most by this question, everyone’s ability to negotiate is inhibited by it:

 

Instead of negotiating within the market value of their current skills and training, this question forces women to defend themselves against their past salaries.

 

Our chapter is spreading awareness on how the practice of asking applicants their salary history perpetuates the pay gap. Here’s how you can join us in this effort:

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