Mississippi Black Women Experience the Largest Wage Gap in America, wage gap

Mississippi Black Women Experience the Largest Wage Gap in America

Report shows that the wage gap between black women and white men in Mississippi is among the largest in the nation.

A new report written in partnership with Black Women’s Equal Pay Day, looks to raise awareness for the wage gap that exists between black women and white men.  Using median wages, the report explains that black women only make 56 cents to a white man’s dollar.  This disparity means that a black woman could make $830, 800 less than a white man in the course of a 40-year career.

The report identifies two main problems underlying the gender and race-based wage gaps in Mississippi.  First, these gaps exist even across higher wage jobs and higher levels of education.  This means that even black women working as lawyers or doctors are still making less than their white counterparts.  Second, employers are still making workforce decisions informed by discriminatory stereotypes about women and their families.  For instance, bosses might make wage decisions based on the perception that mothers are less competent and less committed to their work.

Fifty-five years after the passage of the Equal Pay Act, Mississippi and Alabama remain the only states without state pay equity or sex-based employment discrimination laws.  Past equal pay bills have failed as opponents framed them as “something that does nothing” and as means of punishing employers that “have done nothing wrong.”

Advocates identify a few different approaches toward achieving wage equality.  While many support the idea of laws that allow employees to pursue wage discrimination claims and recover compensation, there are other options as well.  For instance, many support the idea of companies implementing wage comparison studies.  This would help to provide accessible and accurate data that would raise further awareness of compensation inequities.  Advocates also stress the importance of having a centralized department of labor to promote greater access and equity in the labor force throughout the state.

This is what advocates are looking to do to address the wage gap between black women and white men in Mississippi.  Looking for a consulting firm with experience working in higher education?  Then don’t hesitate to contact the professionals at McKnight Associates, Inc.  We are ready to offer you hands-on human resources consulting for colleges, universities, medical centers, and organizations of all sizes.