Time’s Up, Pay Up
Gender and Racial Inequity During Crisis: Black Women and the Pay Gap
New survey shows deepening impact of systemic racism and sexism on Black women amid crises
The pay gap is one of the most persistent — yet measurable and, therefore, solvable — indicators of systemic sexism and racism in the United States. While on average, women in the United States are paid 82 cents for every dollar paid to men, Black women earn just 62 cents on the dollar.
Prior research has shown that there are three main factors that drive the unjust pay gap between men and women in the United States:
- Women face pervasive gender and racial discrimination;
- Women are overrepresented in low-wage jobs and underrepresented in higher-wage ones; and
- Women bear the brunt of home and caregiving responsibilities.
To better understand people’s perceptions about equal pay, study how the COVID-19 pandemic and economic recession may affect the drivers of the pay gap, and learn what women feel they need to achieve greater financial security, TIME’S UP Foundation commissioned PerryUndem to field a national survey of 2,528 diverse adults, ages 18 to 64, between June 2-10, 2020. This survey was generously supported by LUNA® bar, a partner in TIME’S UP’s campaign to fight the pay gap.
Across the board, men and women agree the gender pay gap must be closed — especially now
Half of Black women surveyed say pay equity is just as important an issue right now and 35 percent say it is more important during this economic crisis than before.
Yet Black women continue to be underpaid and undervalued
Gender and racial discrimination persists
More than half of Black women in the survey have faced gender or race discrimination or other related obstacles to higher pay.
Four in 10 Black women in the survey say someone at work has said or implied they don’t work as hard because of their gender, race, or caregiving responsibilities.
One in five Black women has turned down a higher-paying job because the environment was too racist or sexist.
The consequences are staggering
Black women are least likely to have a job that enables financial security and health.
Percent of respondents in the workforce who say they have “a stable, good-paying job that pays the bills, with money left over for savings and extras” and “you are able to be physically and emotionally healthy — both at work and at home.”
Nearly half of Black women do not have enough money right now to pay for their basic needs, such as food and housing.
More than half of Black women have less than $200 in savings.
The solutions are clear — but require business leaders and policymakers to act
Two-thirds of Black women say racism is one of the reasons for the pay gap. Black women are least likely to say ”women choosing jobs that pay less” is a reason for the gap.
Black women are least likely to say “women choosing jobs that pay less” is a reason for the gap.
These systemic problems demand systemic solutions
Black women in the workforce identified several benefits they need for economic security.