Serena Williams pens powerful essay on pay gap for black women 5 years ago

Serena Williams pens powerful essay on pay gap for black women

More and more women are speaking out about pay inequality every day.


From Emma Stone to Maryl Streep to Jennifer Lawrence, the last few years have seen an influx of women in the limelight speaking openly and candidly about the fact that they have had to deal with pay inequality issues during their careers.

As it stands, white women in American currently make 77c to the white man's dollar.

But this disparity doesn't just happen because of gender - it's also affected by race too.

Serena Williams recently penned a powerful essay on how the pay gap affects black women in the States.


In Fortune magazine, the professional tennis player wrote that growing up she was told she couldn't succeed because of the colour of her skin.

Serena williams

Williams said that although she was lucky enough to break through, there are still millions of black women around America who are struggling against poverty, discrimination, and sexism.

"For every black woman that rises through the ranks to a position of power, there are too many others who are still struggling.

Most black women across our country do not have the same support that I did, and so they often don’t speak out about what is just, fair and appropriate in the workplace. When they do, they are often punished for it."


Writing on Black Women's Equal Pay Day, which highlights the fact that black women make 37c less than the average white man, Williams urged women to speak out about this gross inequality.

"Be fearless. Speak out for equal pay. Every time you do, you’re making it a little easier for a woman behind you.

Most of all, know that you’re worth it. It can take a long time to realise that. It took me a long time to realize it. But we are all worth it."

Williams also partnered with SurveyMonkey to find out what Americans think about the pay gap.

The findings revealed that 69 percent of black women believe there is a pay gap, while 44 percent of white men think the issue exists.


Similarly, almost two thirds of black women said that they notice major obstacles for women of colour in the workplace.

Following the publication of the essay, Williams took to Twitter to share a photo of herself wearing a 'Phenomenal woman' T-shirt.

Actresses Tracee Ellis Ross and Viola Davis among others posted similar statements online.


They were also sporting the grey T-shirts featuring the title of Maya Angelou's inspirational poem about deconstructing stereotypes and exhibiting self-confidence.