Serena Williams Laid Out the Blueprint on 'How Black Women Can Close the Pay Gap' in This Moving Essay

Serena Williams

Serena Williams Laid Out the Blueprint on 'How Black Women Can Close the Pay Gap' in This Moving Essay

"Black women: Be fearless. Speak out for equal pay."

Published August 1, 2017

Serena Williams wants answers, and she's using her platform to make sure that all Black women get them.

The tennis legend wrote a passionate essay for Fortune on Black Women's Equal Pay Day (July 31) yesterday, laying out the blueprint for "how Black women can close the pay gap."

"Today is Black Women's Equal Pay Day," Williams wrote to begin the essay published Monday. "This day shines a light on the long-neglected fact that the gender pay gap hits women of color the hardest. Black women are 37 cents behind men in the pay gap — in other words, for every dollar a man makes, black women make 63 cents."

She added: "I’d like to acknowledge the many realities black women face every day. To recognize that women of color have to work — on average — eight months longer to earn the same as their male counterparts do in one year."

While Williams acknowledged that she's in the "rare position to be financially successful beyond my imagination," she made sure to specify that "if I never picked up a tennis racket, I would be one of" those Black women.

From there, Serena rolled out her blueprint, laying out the initial steps that must be taken to stop this unfair and vicious cycle.

"Changing the status quo will take dedicated action, legislation, employer recognition, and courage for employees to demand more," Williams continued. "In short, it’s going to take all of us. Men, women, of all colors, races and creeds to realize this is an injustice. And an injustice to one is an injustice to all."

She added: "The first step in making a change is recognition. We need to push this issue to the front of conversations so that employers across the U.S. can truly understand that all male and female employees must be compensated equally. Not close. Not almost the same. Equally."

To help the cause, Williams has joined SurveyMonkey's board of directors to help cultivate and gather more answers about what Americans think about the pay gap.

Williams also took to her Instagram account yesterday to post sticking points about Black Women's Equal Pay Day and overall pay inequality.

Serena ended her powerful essay by passionately pleading Black women to "be fearless and speak out for equal pay," noting, "every time you do, you’re making it a little easier for a woman behind you." 

Amen! We love how Serena is willing to spread the facts and use her platform to help spark change. Thank you, Queen.

BET Sports News — Get the latest news and information about African-Americans in sports, including weekly recaps, celebrity news and photos of your favorite Black athletes.

Written by BET Staff

(Photo: Farrell/BFA/REX/Shutterstock)


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