Serena Williams Has A Plan To Fight The Wage Gap
Serena Williams is a force on and off of the tennis court, and she's making it known with her latest statements about the wage gap. For Black Women's Equal Pay Day, Serena Williams shared an essay with Fortune magazine about not just her hopes for change as it pertains to black women and their income status, but also how she plans to go about making sure it happens. The tennis star shared some pretty sobering statistics about the disparities black women face in the workplace.
Williams first addressed her own experience with racism as a working woman.
Her statements highlight the fact that wage discrimination is just one part of a huge problem in the workforce when it comes to the treatment of black women.
Williams acknowledged her significant financial success and that the other "24 million black women" in the United States have a greater burden. Having to deal with microaggressions and blatant racism at work is undoubtedly extra stressful when you take home a paycheck that also reflects how much your company values you as a black woman.
Black women, who are currently the most educated group in America, according to the Independent, make only 67 cents to every dollar made by a white man.
Williams acknowledged these women in her essay, writing,
Williams, who joined SurveyMonkey's board of directors in May, worked to conduct a survey on the attitudes people have towards this wage gap.
Some findings from the study include the fact that 69 percent of black women perceive a pay gap, while just 44 percent of men recognize the issue. In addition to gender, black women see obstacles to racial equality: three-quarters of black women workers say there are still significant hurdles holding back minorities.
Still, some black women remain optimistic: more than 43 percent of black millennial women believe men and women have equal opportunities for promotion.
The most alarming stat on this list is that only 44 percent of white men recognize the issue. As Williams wrote, "the first step in making a change is recognition."
Luckily, people like Williams and other prominent women are using their voices and platforms. Senator Kamala Harris has even presented an action plan for taking this wage gap fight to the next level, which starts with pay transparency on the job.
One of the hardest things about navigating this racialized pay gap as a black woman is that while statistics exist, it's hard to know exactly how to go about claiming justice when you don't always know what your colleagues are making. Harris has co-sponsored a bill called the Paycheck Fairness act to address this issue.
She wrote in an article for Bustle,
Here's to hoping that we increase recognition for the wage gap and see some sure-fire solutions for closing it ASAP.