Black Women-Owned Businesses: Navigating Challenges and Creating Opportunities
As we continue to strive for a more just and equitable society, it's important to acknowledge and address the disparities that still exist. One such disparity is the wage gap faced by African American women in the United States. Despite making important strides in entrepreneurship and business ownership, African American women still earn significantly less than their non-Hispanic white male counterparts. In this blog post, we'll explore the current state of the wage gap for African American women, including the latest statistics and contributing factors. We'll also discuss potential solutions and actions we can take to promote greater economic equity for all women.
First, let's look at the persistent wage gap faced by African American women. According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2020, the median earnings for African American women who worked full-time, year-round was $38,536, which is only 63% of the median earnings for non-Hispanic white men. This means that, on average, African American women earn 37 cents less for every dollar earned by non-Hispanic white men.
This wage gap is even more significant when compared to other groups of women. For example, in 2020, the median earnings for Hispanic women who worked full-time, year-round was $33,340, which is 54% of the median earnings for non-Hispanic white men. Asian women earned $52,700, which is 86% of the median earnings for non-Hispanic white men. Non-Hispanic white women earned $48,400, which is 79% of the median earnings for non-Hispanic white men.
The persistent wage gap faced by African American women is a complex issue that has been attributed to a variety of factors, including discrimination, occupational segregation, and disparities in education and training opportunities. Addressing these factors is crucial in narrowing the wage gap and ensuring greater economic equity for African American women.
Now, let's turn to the growth of Black women-owned businesses. According to the 2021 State of Black Women in Business Report by Digitalundivided, African American women are starting businesses at a faster rate than any other racial or ethnic group in the United States. The report found that as of 2021, there are an estimated 2.7 million Black women-owned businesses in the United States, which represents a 58% increase since 2014.
The report also found that African American women are the only racial or ethnic group to see a net increase in the number of businesses they own, while all other groups experienced a net decrease. In addition, the report found that the number of Black women-owned businesses with employees increased by 78% between 2014 and 2019.
The growth of Black women-owned businesses is a positive development for both the African American community and the wider economy, as it contributes to job creation and economic growth. However, Black women entrepreneurs still face significant challenges, including limited access to capital and resources, discrimination, and systemic barriers.
To address these challenges, we must work to support and uplift Black women entrepreneurs. This can include advocating for policies that promote economic equity and access to capital and resources, as well as supporting organizations that provide mentorship, training, and networking opportunities for Black women entrepreneurs.
Ultimately, we must recognize that the growth of Black women-owned businesses and the fight for economic equity for African American women is not just a matter of economics, but a matter of justice. As a community, we must continue to work tirelessly to dismantle the systemic injustices that perpetuate the wage gap and to empower Black women to achieve their full potential in the world of business and beyond.