According to a recent analysis by the Economic Policy Institute, black women made an average of 66 cents for every dollar made by white men in 2017. That means black women have to work an extra eight months to make the same wages as their white male counterparts. And unfortunately, things wouldn’t be better if black women simply chose higher paying jobs or focused on getting higher education. Black women earn less than white men at every level of education—even in the exact same occupation. So what can we do about the damaging wage gap? By practicing the tips below, black women can give ourselves a better chance to build wealth, increasing our spending power and increasing our financial value.
1. Learn A New Skill (Something That Only You Can Do)
Acquiring new skills has a number of benefits like: increasing your ability to earn money, boosting your confidence, enriching your life and enhancing your creativity and inspiration. Learning new skills brings new opportunities, like becoming qualified to apply to a wider variety of jobs, including jobs in another country or language. Also, the more specialized your skill is, the better. A trilingual freelance cartoonist who specializes in creating political cartoons is going to appeal more to international magazines looking for a multicultural hire, than someone who is trilingual but lacks experience in creating cartoons, or someone who is just a monolingual cartoonist.
2. Start A Side Hustle
It could be an online business or an offline business, but it’s important to create several streams of income. A day job just doesn’t cut it because there is no such thing as 100% fool-proof job security and the best way to prevent poverty and debt is to create a side hustle. Even if you start your own business, ensure that your business is bringing in several sources of income. Have a degree in psychology and own your own life coaching service business? Consider consulting, coaching, speaking, freelancing, training, selling online courses, physical products, books, e-books and even online blogging to draw in more clients! This way, your business can bring in several sources of income regardless of the current political or economic climate.
3. Work With And For Other Black Women
According to the 2018 State of Women-Owned Business Report, the number of firms owned by black women grew by a stunning 164% from 2007 to 2018. In 2018, there are 2.4 million African American women-owned businesses! Unfortunately, there is a still a gap between how much income and success black women can make and have while opening businesses, in part due to a lack of educational resources and mentors. It’s important for black women not only to become business owners, but also to partner with other black businesswomen. Have a successful black business? Consider mentoring other ambitious black businesswomen and helping them learn the ropes of entrepreneurship too. Even if you only know a little about business, chances are there is someone else who also knows very little. Spread your knowledge, resources and skills and watch another black woman bloom!
4. Outsource Your Work
If you’re an entrepreneur and running a small business, it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking you can do everything on your own. There’s no need to fall into that dangerous trap when there are so many resources and websites for business owners to outsource some jobs and responsibilities like coding, marketing and advertising, or even content creating. Instead, consider outsourcing jobs and giving opportunities to other black women who face the same setbacks that you do. We’re all we’ve got – it’s best to stick together.
5. Learn How To Manage Your Money
Statistically, black women have to work harder and longer to make the same amount of money as their white counterparts. One thing that we can do to alleviate the effects of racism and sexism on our wallets, is to practice healthy money handling practices. Avoid borrowing loans and getting into debt, set aside 30-50% of your pay for savings, plan out your spending well in advance and start saving for retirement early. Learning how to handle your money will save you from any extra and unnecessary expenses and raise your spending power and financial value over time.
All in all, it’s important to remember that just because the odds are against you doesn’t mean you have to give up. You can still play to win.
"Grace is a freelance writer and blogger from Canada. Her work has been featured on HerCampus, 21Ninety, Read Unwritten. She is a voracious reader, a dog-lover and a self-professed pop culture junkie. Her other hobbies include watching sappy romantic comedies, consuming too many strawberry-filled doughnuts and people-watching. Grace currently attends university, where she is working towards a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Pre-Law."