Tuesday, April 4, 2017, is recognized as Equal Pay Day – an initiative started by the National Committee on Pay Equity (NCPE) in 1996 to highlight the gap between men and women’s wages. Equal Pay Day, held every April, symbolizes how far into the year women need to work to make what men did in the previous year. But does this day represent all women? Despite substantial gains in education and business, the National Committee for Pay Equity reports that Black women only earn 60 cents and Latinas earn just 55 cents while women, in general, earn 78 cents to the dollar of their White male counterparts.
Given these figures, Black women don’t reach equal pay until eight months into the year of the year on August 23rd and for Latina women, even later on November 11th. These days represent how far into the year, women of color must work.
Read more on some of the facts that surround equal pay for multicultural women in the workplace:
- Women-owned firms make up 28% of the 2.71 million businesses in the US. While minorities own 21.3% of businesses. Yet, women do not have adequate access to financial capital in comparison to their White counterparts, halting the opportunity for growth and job opportunities.
- Black women have historically and presently, had a higher labor participation rate than the national average at 59.9% versus the 56.4% rate of White, non-Hispanic women.
- Black women earn 66% of bachelor’s degrees, 71% of master’s degrees, and 65% of all doctorate degrees awarded to Black students
- Despite this level of academic attainment, research finds that black women earn $2 less per hour than their male counterparts.
- Black women are a part of the fastest growing entrepreneurial segments in the country growing at rates of 133.3% and 191.4% respectively from 1997 to 2007, and are five times more likely to start a business than their male counterparts.
- Latinas own 36% of all Latino-owned firms, employ 20% of the workers employed by Latino-owned firms, and contribute 16% of the revenue generated by Latino-owned businesses.
- Over the past 17 years, the number of Latina-owned firms has more than tripled (up 206%), employment has risen 85% and revenues have more than doubled (up 160%).
- While 11% of women-owned firms are owned by Latinas nationally, Latinas comprise the greatest share of all women-owned firms in New Mexico (29%), Texas (25%), Florida (24%) and California (20%)
The work of Walker’s Legacy and the Walker’s Legacy Foundation focuses primarily on directly addressing these statistics by creating networks of support, resources and business education that multicultural women of need to achieve economic equity through success in business and entrepreneurship. Through localized and online networks, educational content, and targeted programming, Walker’s Legacy and its Foundation engages and empowers thousands of professional women of color.