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Young bartender leaning on bar counter thoughtful

Source: ljubaphoto / Getty

*According to a new report by One Fair Wage, Black waitresses in the restaurant industry make $2.57 an hour less than their white male counterparts.

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The report titled Intentional Inequality notes that 53% of Black women surveyed do not earn enough in daily tips to meet the full minimum wage. In comparison, 38% of White men said their tips did not bring them to their full minimum wage.

“Black women workers have experienced the most unjust and inequitable economic outcomes possible throughout U.S. history, in times of both crisis and prosperity,” Saru Jayaraman, President of One Fair Wage said in a statement. “This Black Women’s Equal Pay Day, Black women are still most likely to have lost their jobs during the pandemic or face unprecedented rates of housing and food insecurity.

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“In the restaurant industry, the fastest-growing but lowest-paying industry in the country, this inequity is tied to a history of structural racism; particularly to the origins of the subminimum wage for tipped workers. We are at a critical moment for Black women who are tipped service industry workers. We must end the subminimum wage and enable Black women to achieve greater equity in the workplace,” Jayaraman added.

Meanwhile, Black Women’s Equal Pay Day fell on September 21. Per USA Today, “Black Women’s Equal Pay Day highlights the pay disparities Black women face. The day stems from Equal Pay Day, which highlights the pay disparity between women and men,” the outlet writes.

The article goes on to unpack the wage gap in the U.S. and notes that Black women would have to work an additional 264 days to match the pay white men took home in 2021.

“That gap stems in large part from the fact that Black women are overrepresented in low-paid jobs and face both race and sex discrimination at work. They are also often both primary caregivers and breadwinners,” the National Women’s Law Center’s website states. “But outdated, sexist workplace policies too often force Black women to choose between bringing home a paycheck and caring for themselves and their families.”

According to the NWLC, full-time working Black women lose $1,891 every month or $22,692 every year as a result of the pay gap, which amounts to $907,680 over a lifetime.

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