Money & Career

Black Women’s Equal Pay Day: ESSENCE President Michelle Ebanks on the Importance of Knowing and Demanding Your Worth

Charli Penn
Aug, 07, 2018 7:07 AM UTC

It’s 2018, and Black women are still getting a bum deal in the workplace when it comes to earning fair pay.

Today is Black Women’s Equal Pay Day, and there’s a reason it’s in August, months after Equal Pay Day, which occurs in April each year. Because a Black woman earns just 63 cents for every dollar a man earns, she would have to work until August 2018 just to make what a typical White man in her field would have made by the end of 2017. Take a moment to let that sink in.

And now that it has, it’s time to take a stand and demand to be paid what you’re worth.

During the record-breaking 2018 Essence Festival, ESSENCE president Michelle Ebanks took a moment to discuss the Black woman’s ongoing fight for equal pay and inspire sisters to speak up for themselves, no matter what.

“Learning to know my worth has been a journey,” said Ebanks. “I haven’t always focused on the value that I’m bringing to an enterprise or a project.”

On this day, ESSENCE is asking Black women to take charge and become their own advocates in the fight for equal pay. The systemic racism in the workplace cannot be dismantled over night, but we can fight for more transparency and equality and put more pressure on employers to pay us what they deserve—now.

“Over time, I began to realize, as Black women especially, our worth is not recognized as often as it should be,” Ebanks continued. “So we have to stand up for that and get what we’ve earned and what we deserve.”

Learn the myths and facts about Black women and equal pay and join ESSENCE in demanding more today. Using #AskYourWorth, tell us about your fight.

Go get what’s rightfully yours!

Outbrain