Women are paid 83 cents for every dollar paid to white, non-Hispanic men, and Black women are compensated just 64 cents compared to white men. Moreover, women hold two-thirds of the nation’s student-loan debt. More than 70% of Black students go into debt to pay for higher education, compared to 56% of white students.
Many Black and Brown women borrow more—and take more time to pay off their debts—because they have less family wealth to rely on. This so-called “wealth gap” spans generations and is due to centuries of racism, discrimination and unequal access to education and housing. To make matters worse, Black women are more likely to work in lower-paying service occupations like food service, domestic work and health care assistance than other industries and less likely to be employed in higher-paying engineering and tech fields or managerial positions.
As we work to create more equitable systems, we also want to inform and empower women to optimize their earnings through educational programs like Money Smart. We particularly encourage women of color to participate, given the additional challenges and discrimination they face.