#EqualPayDay + #BlackWomanAtWork
It’s only fitting that Equal Pay Day should fall on my mom’s birthday — one of the fiercest women I know. While she wasn’t well known or uber successful, she was a force of nature — quiet and unwavering in her beliefs. A lot of who I am is because of her, sadly, I often lack her courage allowing fear to cripple me, to strip me of my voice. The past couple of years have been a lesson in regaining my voice and using it regardless of the outcome.
So let’s talk about #EqualPayDay while being a #BlackWomanAtWork. We all know that the same rules don’t apply to people of color and while our white allies are there taking minimal steps at intersectionality, most of them are just complicit in the systematic oppression of women of color. How many of these woman who flaunt leaning in, asking for more money actually take the time to hire women of color, to mentor them or listen to them? The biggest proponents of this feel good feminism fails to really take action in changing the system. So yes, today twitter is on full blast telling women to ask for more, to demand a seat at the table without ever talking about how those same tactics that make white women succeed has a detrimental effect on the careers of black women. That when we lean in, we’re met with opposition; when we ask for a raise, we’re often told some BS about performance, budget… while our white colleagues are able to get said raise. It can be taxing as a woman of color trying to carve out her place in the work environment especially if you’re not taken under the wings of someone who came before you and showed you the ropes.
There a tons of smart, competent women of color who don’t have a mentor and we all know, how important mentorship is for the advancement of one’s career. No one ever made it all on their own. So while we all take time today to raise noise about the need for equal pay, let’s also take time to acknowledge the different struggles that women of color endure.