CLEVELAND — August 13, 2020 marked Black Women Equal Pay Day. The day marks how far into the calendar year Black women must work to earn what white men made in the previous year.
According to Forbes, Black women usually only earn 62 cents for every dollar made by white men.
"You know your worth and your value, but what you are being offered doesn't often match what that is,” said Christin Farmer-Kane. “Pay us."
Christin Farmer-Kane employs 21 black women on her staff. She said they're all paid above a livable wage, through her organization, Birthing Beautiful Communities, which works to improve Black families. But for many women who are still trying to find their way, the future can be terrifying.
"Over a 40-year career, Black women are earning almost $950,000 less than white men,” said Sharona Hoffman. "It's absolutely systemic. Every study that’s done identifies this pay gap. you have to fix so many parts of the system. You have to fix education, you have to fix healthcare. On average, women in general, earn just 80 cents for every dollar that a White man earns.”
Hoffman is a professor of law and bioethics at case western reserve university. Hoffman said, in the workplace, people should be willing to share salaries and highlight the issues to force change.
"You don't know that you should fight for yourself if you don't know there's a problem,” said Hoffman.
But change can't be left up to women alone.
"We need men to stand alongside us and say 'It's not right, it's not fair. And the women in the workplace deserve to make the same pay that I do," said Danielle Sydnor, president of Cleveland NAACP. She said the struggle for equity is exhausting.
"If you don't fight for every single thing you deserve, you're not going to get it. People aren't willingly giving it to you,” Sydnor said. “We’re tired of being underpaid.”