According a report by the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC), African-American women will lose more than $877,000 and $1m respectively over a 40-year career compared to their white male counterparts.
The report comes a week before African American Equal Pay Day, which takes place on the day black women catch up to white men’s pay from 2015.
In 2014, black women earned 60 cents for every dollar earned by white men. That means that the average black woman would have to work 20 months to earn what a white man earns in 12 months.
“African American women shouldn’t need to work more than 66 years to earn what a white man earns in 40 years,” said Martin. “ If we don’t act now to ensure equal pay, for many women of color, the cost of the lifetime wage gap will surpass a million dollars. We literally can’t afford to ignore this.”
There are six states, including the District of Columbia, where the gap has already surpassed $1m:
- District of Columbia: $1,595,200
- New Jersey: $1,231,600
- Connecticut: $1,140,400
- Louisiana: $1,134,880
- California: $1,046,960
- Massachusetts: $1,022,440
According to NWLC, even black women with a high level of education still experience a wage gap. “African American women with a bachelor’s degree typically make $46,825 per year – only $1,849 more than white men with only a high school diploma,” NWLC pointed out.