It’s hard to believe we are already in March, which is Women’s History Month, and this coming week, on March 8th, we’ll be celebrating International Women’s Day. This month and day are always important for our team at HerMoney, but this year, they’re just hitting a little differently.
We know that in 2020 alone, women globally lost more than 64 million jobs, or 800 billion in earnings, according to Oxfam International. And 35% of American women who lost their jobs during the pandemic are still unemployed today, according to a report by Resume Builder. But that’s the average for all women — For Black women, the number is 46%. And according to Pew research, most women who are allowed to work from home today tend to come from wealthier, whiter demographics.
But of course even before the pandemic, racial inequality has meant a vast and unjust divide between Black and white women at work. The gender wage gap for all women is 82 cents on the dollar, but Black women earn just 61 cents on the dollar compared to their white male colleagues. And of course lower salaries mean less opportunities to save for retirement or build wealth — women of color are more likely to fall into poverty in retirement than their white counterparts. And a 2020 Pew Research report found that while 61% of white households have some investments in the stock market through retirement accounts, just 31% Black households can say the same.
These statistics are sickening, and we need change, desperately. Which is why in this week’s show we’re focusing on exactly what needs to change for Black women in a post-COVID world. Because we see that employers are evolving — more women are now securing higher salaries and additional workplace flexibility, and we want to make absolutely certain that when we talk about women’s recovery from the pandemic, that the conversation isn’t just about how white women can “get back on top.” Because Black women cannot afford to be sidelined any longer. Pre-pandemic data from a 2019 study from the Center for Talent Innovation found that Black professionals today hold just 3.2% of executive and senior manager positions, and less than 1% of Fortune 500 CEO spots.
Dr. Lakisha Simmons, founder of The Wealthy AchieveHer women’s empowerment platform focused on goal setting, leadership skills, and financial freedom, walks us through specific things that can be done to elevate Black women today. She tells us how we can use this transition period in corporate America to ensure that more Black women are elevated to the C-suite, more Black women are able to secure higher salaries, get better jobs, and build wealth.
Lakisha is a first-generation college graduate and a FIRE coach who retired early at 41 years old after investing over $900,000. She is also the author of The Unlikely AchieveHer workbook. In this episode, she gets real about some of the financial things that are common knowledge in most white families that many Black families have simply never been introduced to. She weighs in on how we can bridge those education gaps, and create change in the quickest and most efficient ways possible.
We discuss gaps with career and salary, and discuss the most effective salary negotiation tips for Black women. We also talk about retirement savings — What kinds of conversations do Black women need to have about retirement, and what can financial companies do better, to reach and serve more Black women? Of course we also talk about investing, and tackle how we can get more Black women investing at the same rate as your typical white male.
In Mailbag, we talk about paying down credit card debt before getting married, and how much you should be saving if you’re planning to welcome a new baby. In Thrive, we discuss investing in art.