Serena Williams Pens Essay In Support Of Black Women’s Equal Pay Day
The tennis superstar Serena Williams, 35, led the campaign for female tennis players to be paid the same as men, and in an article published by Fortune.com to coincide with Black Women’s Equal Pay Day, she demanded bosses pay African-American women fairly.
“Today is Black Women’s Equal Pay Day,” Serena Williams opened her essay, titled How Black Women Can Close the Pay Gap. “This day shines a light on the long-neglected fact that the gender pay gap hits women of color the hardest. Black women are 37 cents behind men in the pay gap- in other words, for every dollar a man makes, black women make 63 cents.”
In her article she wrote she was in a “rare position” to be very well rewarded financially, but explained she too had been told she wouldn’t find success due to her race and gender, and has had to learn to speak up for herself.
After quoting statistics showing black women are paid on average 17 per cent less than their white female counterparts, Serena Williams called for change.
July 31, 2017 marks Black Women’s Equal Pay Day because it is the number of extra days on average an African-American woman had to work to match a similarly qualified white man’s 2016 pay.
To help rectify the situation, the pregnant tennis star called on bosses to pay their black female employees more, politicians to introduce more stringent equal pay legislation and for black women to be “fearless” in demanding better compensation.
“Black women: Be fearless. Speak out for equal pay…. Most of all, know that you’re worth it. It can take a long time to realize that. It took me a long time to realize it. But we are all worth it… Let’s get back those 37 cents,” she concluded.”