TAKING ACTION ON EQUAL PAY

FOR BLACK WOMEN

An Open Letter from NPower

Black women in today’s workforce receive just 63 cents, on average, for every dollar earned by white, non-Hispanic men1.

According to data from the U.S. Dept. of Labor, the economy is in its best state since March 2020—but this boom is leaving behind an important population: Black Women.

Today, Black women not only have the highest rate of unemployment but also continue to experience the widest pay gap, a critical social issue that has existed for decades.

In fact, pay for Black women in today’s workforce ranges from 48 to 68 cents for every dollar paid to white, non-Hispanic men2 in comparable positions. Many factors contribute to this issue—from racial discrimination to workplace harassment—and the combined effect greatly increases the economic pressure on Black women and their families. In fact, recent research shows that 80 percent of Black mothers serve as primary breadwinners of their families2—an issue further exacerbated during the pandemic, especially given that many Black women shoulder the majority of childcare duties.

On August 3rd, Black Women’s Equal Pay Day, we must join together—public, private and nonprofit sectors—along with allies, advocates, activists and others—to commit to closing this chronic and unjust pay gap for Black women with real, committed action.

We are NPower, a national nonprofit that has worked for 20 years to increase solid, sustained economic opportunities for young people of color and veterans through tech jobs. Command Shift is our new coalition focused on strategies that help women of color with non-traditional backgrounds access good paying, tech-enabled jobs that provide the security and stability that they deserve.

The economy cannot fully boom, until each and every one of us has the opportunity to boom with it. And that starts with equal pay.

To accelerate the systematic changes that will enable women of color to thrive in their careers and livelihoods, we are asking you to join us and our corporate and nonprofit partners who have committed to this mission (see below) in taking action to break-through the systemic biases and entrenched institutional barriers that keep Black women from earning equal pay in the workforce.

Please add your signature below to show your support. An initial list of action steps that you and your company can implement to help achieve this goal may be found below. When signing, please share any other actions that you would recommend.

Suggested Action Steps

  • On an annual basis, my company will conduct an internal pay audit to examine racial, ethnic and gender pay differences and take steps to correct disparities.
  • My company will operate with pay transparency so that the public will know the companies that prioritize equitable pay and Black women have access to data and information regarding the wages they deserve.
  • My company will work to ensure that there are equal opportunities for Black women to be hired, including those without college degrees but with the same skills as their peers—and at the same pay rate—and support them in advancing and thriving over the long-term.

Corporate & Community Advocates

Individual Advocates

Ann Marr

World Wide Technology

Lina Klebanov

Tata Consultancy Services

Renee Martin

FINN Partners

Hillary Ovalle

FINN Partners

Thomas Brown

NPower

Wendell Covington

NPower

Emily Badoon

NPower

Marletta Boyd II

NPower

Corinne Bletz

NPower

Rolanda Small

Palo Alto Networks

Erica Peyton

NPower

Cecile Cromartie

Citi

Susanne Tedrick

Author, Women of Color in Tech

Viola Thompson

ITSMF

Binta Vann-Joseph

NPower

Kelly Gibson

FINN Partners

Anna Perrotti

NPower

Michael Rasmussen

NPower

Alicia Pearlman

NPower

Robert White, III

NPower

Joanna Rouse

NPower

Mazen El-Haidari

Baker Hughes

Jason Fearnow

Prime Contract Solutions

A.Nicole Campbell

Build Up Advisory Group

Bertina Ceccarelli

NPower

Candice Dixon

NPower

Ravneet Dhamrait

FINN Partners

Kendra Parlock

NPower

Sereyna Wallace

NPower

Pedro Remotti

NPower

Nina Yu

NPower

Christopher Starling

NPower

Katharine Riggle

NPower

Bruce Montgomery

Entrepreneur Success Program (ESP)

1 U.S. Census Bureau. (2020). Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic (ASEC) Supplement: Table PINC-05: Work Experience in 2019 – People 15 Years Old and Over by Total Money Earnings in 2018, Age, Race, Hispanic Origin, Sex, and Disability Status. Retrieved 18 March 2021, from https://www.census.gov/data/tables/time-series/demo/income-poverty/cps-pinc/pinc-05.html. (Unpublished calculation based on the median earnings for all women and men who worked full time, year-round in 2019; full time is defined as 35 hours a week or more)

2 National Partnership for Women and Families, March 2021: https://www.nationalpartnership.org/our-work/resources/economic-justice/fair-pay/african-american-women-wage-gap.pdf

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Fax: 212-564-7009
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Thank you for expressing interest in Command Shift and being inspired to take action. Please complete the information below and someone from our Coalition team will reach out with next steps.

Sign the Letter

  • By signing this letter, you show your support for advancing women of color and addressing the glaring pay gap black women face. We will email you with Command Shift news, updates and ways to get involved as we work together to build equity in the tech industry.