Inequality between black women and the rest of the workforce is an issue that hits close to home for Mayor LaToya Cantrell. As the first African-American woman to lead New Orleans, there’s no way it couldn’t. On Black Women’s Equal Pay Day, Cantrell told Very Local that fair wages for black women are crucial to the future of the city.
Cantrell said that the majority of households in New Orleans are headed by single, black women. As they go, the city goes.
“Black women in New Orleans continue to single-handedly head the majority of households and take on the added burden of earning less than their white sisters doing the same job with the same level of education or greater,” she said. “We must stand for equal pay for all. The future of our families depends on it.”
The day of advocacy and awareness was started by the group Equal Pay Today. They founded a separate day for black women in particular because the wage gap between them and the rest of the workforce was particularly severe. Where all women make 79 cents for every dollar a man makes, looking at the data along racial lines reveals an even bleaker picture. The average Black woman makes 63 cents for every dollar a man makes according to the National Partnership for Women and Families.
In Louisiana, it’s somehow even worse. Black women make 47 cents on the dollar when compared to men. That can be particularly troubling in a city like New Orleans where the cost of living continues to rise.
For more on National Black Women’s Equal Pay Day, head to their website.