Among the measures of income inequality for both minorities and women are the number of cents each group is paid compared to white males, who are traditionally the highest paid people in America for jobs at every level. The last data show, once again, how wide the gulfs are. According to information from the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), black women have to work seven months into 2017 to be paid the same as white men in 2016.
The EPI’s experts recently wrote:
Pay inequity directly touches the lives of black women in at least three distinct ways. Since few black women are among the top 5 percent of earners in this country, they have experienced the relatively slow wage growth that characterizes growing class inequality along with the vast majority of other Americans. But in addition to this class inequality, they also experience lower pay due to gender and race bias.
Based on history, this gap is not going to close at anytime in the foreseeable future, which means compensation stratification will continue. Assuming income affects access to health care, a healthy diet, good education and quality housing, the chance to reach toward better wages becomes even less possible.
And the difference between black women and white men does become greater with education. White men with an advanced degree make an average of $48 an hour. Black women with less than a high school degree make less than $11 an hour. Society puts a premium on education for a number of obvious reasons. But the ability to even graduate from college is nothing more than a dream for many minorities, which is another reason the disparity will linger.