Why is August 3rd Black Women’s Equal Pay Day?


On Tuesday, August 3, Deadline (publication) reported that Angela Bassett has received a notable pay increase ahead of the fifth season premiere of 9-1-1-, which debuts on Fox September 20. The 62-year-old What’s Love Got to Do with It, How Stella Got Her Groove Back, and Black Panther actress, who leads the procedural as LAPD patrol sergeant Athena Grant-Nash on the show, will now take home “north of $450,000 an episode.” This salary is reportedly one of the biggest in the industry for network TV actors — male or female — and is believed to be the highest salary ever for an actress of color on a broadcast drama series. Bassett also serves as an executive producer for 9-1-1’s spinoff, 9-1-1: Lone Star. I celebrate the significance of this salary increase because August 3 is Black Women’s Equal Pay Day marking the day when Black women earn the amount made by their non-Hispanic, male counterparts the previous December. That’s right, it takes the average Black woman, working full-time year-round, 8 extra months to earn what the average white non-Hispanic man earns in 1 year. Based on the American Community Survey (ACS) Census data, the 2021 wage gap for Black women is $0.63 for every $1.00 a White man makes.

According to an analysis by the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC) in 2021 of recent labor data, the wage gap between Black women who are full-time, year-round workers and their white, non-Hispanic, male counterparts adds up to “a staggering loss of $964,400 over a 40-year career.” Black Women’s Equal Pay Day comes four months after Equal Pay Day, averaged for all women, reflecting the larger pay gap Black women face. There is a $409,040 gap between what a Black woman and a white woman working full time will make over a lifetime. That is an enormous and life-changing amount of money. This wage gap doesn’t just impact Black women, it trickles down into our families, communities, and overall economies.

Of course there are structural and systemic barriers that contribute to the racial and gender wage gap, but sometimes we as women don’t believe we deserve to be paid well. Sometimes we don’t ask for what we want or deserve or even need. Sometimes we are so proud of our small ask that we accept the first increase offered. Sometimes the fear, doubt, and guilt can be overwhelming or paralyzing.

If you are tired of being overworked, underpaid, and unappreciated, let’s start the process of being energized, well-paid, and appreciated by eliminating limiting beliefs and negative labels. I invite you to join my Uplevel Your Mindset Career Development Challenge.

Quarter 3 Career Development Challenge: Uplevel Your Mindset 5-Day Challenge

Date: August 9, 2021 – August 13, 2021

If you want support with conquering imposter syndrome or salary research or negotiation before the 5-day challenge begins, schedule a Career Activation Strategy Session. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

Remember, we launch the challenge on Monday, August 9, 2021!


Nicki Sanders, MSW, CEO, is a Career and Empowerment Strategist who helps high-performing women of color in management go from overworked, underpaid, and unappreciated to energized, well paid, and appreciated. Through Nicki Sanders Leadership Consulting, she also helps businesses recruit, hire, train, and retain great employees. Nicki has an extensive background in developing and managing successful programs and leading high-functioning multi-disciplinary teams. She is an accomplished professor, coach, trainer, and group facilitator who has combined her gift for authentic relationships, Master of Social Work degree, and over 20 years of diverse work experience to create a life she loves. Nicki is a lover of cupcakes, travel, and 80’s hip hop and R&B music.

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