”Be fearless. Speak out for equal pay. Every time you do, you’re making it a little easier for a woman behind you.”
Serena Williams wrote a stirring essay for Forbes, in honor of Black Women’s Equal Pay Day, discussing her struggles growing up and the adversity she continues to face even as a superstar on the world stage.
The essay blends her personal experiences with statistical evidence that together demonstrate how far society is from equality when it comes to how employees of color and women are paid. The piece also illuminates her own struggles with imposed limitations as a black woman looking to thrive in a predominately white and European field.
- Sixty-nine percent of black women perceive a pay gap, while just 44% of white men recognize the issue.
- Nearly two-thirds of black women say that major obstacles remain for women in the workplace.
- 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% of black millennial women believe men and women have equal opportunities for promotion.
July 31 is Black Women's Equal Pay Day. Black women are the cornerstone of our communities, they are phenomenal, an… https://t.co/1iVqPIM0NY— Serena Williams (@Serena Williams)1501517729.0
She ends with a message of inspiration, citing the progress made and the strength of those who continue to fight for nothing more than equal treatment and appreciation.
“Black women: Be fearless. Speak out for equal pay. Every time you do, you’re making it a little easier for a woman behind you. 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. I’ve long said, ‘You have to believe in yourself when no one else does’.
Let’s get back those 37 cents.”