For Immediate Release:
July 27, 2023
ON BLACK WOMEN’S EQUAL PAY DAY, FPWA CEO JENNIFER JONES AUSTIN CALLS FOR ACTION ON PERSISTING RACIAL WAGE GAP
60 Years After The March On Washington, Black Women Make $0.64 For Every $1.00 White Men Earn
New York, NY (July 27, 2023) – Today, FPWA CEO Jennifer Jones Austin released the following statement calling out persisting racial pay gaps on Black Women’s Equal Pay Day. FPWA’s latest analysis on the lack of civil rights progress since the March on Washington highlights the widening wealth gap between nonwhite and white families: it has increased by $40,000 since 1963.
“As we observe Black Women’s Equal Pay Day, we bring attention to the fact that denying Black and Brown women fair and equitable wages represents one of the most insidious manifestations of racial and gender prejudice in our country, given its effects on children, families, and communities. Even with advanced educational degrees or high-powered positions, Black women still trail behind their white and male counterparts in receiving ample compensation for their work. Our latest deep dive into the numbers reveals this stark racial gap: Black and Brown women earn $0.64 and $0.55, respectively, for every $1.00 white men earn. When you have this great wage inequity, it does not allow for women of color to invest in their families. It does not provide for the resources, the income, the assets, after paying basic living expenses, to invest in a home, to possibly invest in a business, even to invest in their children to support their growth and development.
This economic injustice is impacting younger generations at alarming rates. One third of Black children are growing up in poverty because their mothers are saddled with disproportionate student debt and segregated in devalued jobs. At FPWA we are on the frontlines of this fight working to advance policy and legislation to eliminate wage and occupational segregation, increase wages, and enforce pay equity in New York, we are also fighting to dismantle racist structures and policies that keep women of color from thriving. Essential to this work is the need for our nation to move away from outdated measures that undercount and misrepresent the realities of poverty and adopt more accurate measures that can be used to help set fair wages and more equitably administer critical income supports. We are also fighting for fair and better wages for human services workers in New York City, a sector that is comprised of 75% people of color, 70% women, and 55% women of color. New York City would be lost without these workers. Yet their pay doesn’t begin to equal their contributions, and that puts us all at risk.
FPWA is an anti-poverty policy and advocacy organization committed to advancing economic opportunity, justice, and upward mobility for New Yorkers with low incomes. Since 1922, FPWA has driven groundbreaking policy reforms to better serve those in need. We work to dismantle the systemic barriers that impede economic security and well-being, and strengthen the capacity of human services agencies and faith organizations so New Yorkers with lower incomes can thrive and live with dignity.