NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Pay inequity is at the top of people’s minds.
Thursday is Black Women’s Equal Pay Day, highlighting some huge disparities.
Historically, Black women work longer to earn as much as the average white man, CBS2’s Aundrea Cline-Thomas reported.
It takes a whole 20 months for a Black woman to make as much on average as a white man did in just one year. Dr. C. Nicole Mason is the president and CEO of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, which found that at this rate pay equity would not be realized until the year 2130.
“My daughter and my daughter’s daughter, if we don’t do anything we’ll not see pay equity in her lifetime or in their lifetimes,” Mason said.
The losses for Black women are significant when compared to white men.
According to the think tank, the difference between the median yearly earnings is $23,000 in New York, nearly $31,000 in Connecticut, and more than $34,500 in New Jersey.
“That’s less money for savings, to invest, to open a business, to pay for college,” Mason said.
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Equal pay advocates joined Netroots Nation for a virtual discussion about what they called economic theft within the restaurant industry.
“I have to continuously prove my worth and comport myself in a way that is palatable to the owners and management and the restaurant guests, while stifling my voice,” one person said.
As corporations respond to protests with declarations that “Black Lives Matter,” the intersection of race and gender is part of the reckoning.
“Name discrimination, or interviewing discrimination, or showing up and saying it’s very nebulous and saying, ‘Oh, they’re just not a good fit,'” Mason said.
Council member Adrienne Adams is encouraging Black women to negotiate for themselves.
“We have to take a look at comparable fields. What are some of the pay scales of comparable fields? We have to do our own homework,” Adams said.
But that doesn’t allow companies off the hook, ones that have systemically used discriminatory practices that have disenfranchised women, especially Black women.