Black women are earning 63 cents for every dollar earned by white men. You read that right. But oh, it gets worse. This wage gap has only closed by 3 cents over the last 30 years for Black women, according to the National Women’s Law Center, meaning we’d have to work until Aug. 3 2021 to make the same amount white men earned in 2020. Even after working for more than 40 years, Black women could lose up to $964,400 due to this incredible wage gap.
For Black Women Equal Pay Day, Essence sat down with Tiffany Williams, an expert business coach and founder of the Rich Girl Collective who teaches Black women to earn more, demand more, and negotiate their way to financial freedom every day.
Williams says that your attitude really determines your altitude, and she’s right.
“When negotiating a higher salary or a better position within a company, be confident in your ability to continue to deliver results and your added value for the company,” Williams said. “Don’t be afraid to let the deciding manager know what obstacles you were able to overcome while in your current role and how you look forward to new exciting opportunities in the new position.”
Once you’ve done the research and determined your asks, remember to stand strong in your position.
“Don’t back down on what you desire to receive in exchange for your working hours,” Williams said. “We are no longer led by a society that is keen on replacing time for dollars so negotiate what you really want. Think past more money. Consider the benefits. Consider the lifestyle you desire. Would remote work help you focus better? More PTO days? Be open-minded and ask for what you need.”
Do great work (and keep records of it!)
A survey by Salary.com revealed that only 37% of people always negotiate their salaries and only 44% of respondents claim to have never brought up the subject of a raise during their performance reviews. These numbers are even worse for Black people. Findings from an American Psychological Association report found that African-American job candidates are more likely to receive lower salaries in hiring negotiations when racially biased evaluators believe they have negotiated too much.
Williams says the best way to combat this bias is through hard facts.
“Make sure your performance at the job is top-notch, then present to the corporate how much value you are adding to the company,” said Williams. “Providing key numerical metrics of your performance since starting the job and or position to show how your role brought ROI to the company. Always compare your ROI with the amount of time it took you to complete that win. Naturally, companies care about current ROI and where the company sees itself years down the line. Also, mention how you can bring more to your role and bring value to the company with your new salary or mention how your increase of pay will provide more capacity.”