The higher Black women rise in Corporate America, the less they're paid compared to men overall

The higher Black women rise in Corporate America, the less they're paid compared to men overall
A young business professional.Getty images
  • The gender pay gap is closing at a "glacial speed," says a new report from
  • When data is controlled for factors like skills and education, Black women have the widest gender pay gap.

Climbing the corporate ladder may come with pay raises, but if you're a Black woman, your salary will lag futher behind that of white men.

According to a new study from, the gender pay gap is closing at a "glacial speed." Of all demographics, Black women are being paid the least and their college degrees and years of experience aren't even helping.

It's a matter of both gender and race, the study says.

"Race and gender intersect to result in wider pay gaps for women of color." researchers wrote, adding that when data is controlled for compensable factors, like seniority level and amount of responsibility, the gender pay gap is the widest for Black women as they earn $0.98 for every dollar their male counterparts are paid. This rate is notably low in comparison to Asian women who make $1.03.

When the job characteristics are controlled for, researchers say that Black women earn $0.99 for every $1 White men make, however the rate falls to $0.95 for executives. In comparison, White women executives, who make more than Black women in every other seniority level, earn $0.94 for every $1 a white man earns, whereas Asian women earn $0.99. In managerial roles, Black and White women earn $0.97, whereas Asian women earn $1.02.


"All women of color except for Black women start out with controlled pay equity relative to white men at the individual contributor level, but as they progress up the corporate ladder, the gender pay gap widens," researchers wrote.

Researchers say that when only accounting for gender, women are still making $0.82 for every $1 that men make. However, under the controlled gender pay gap, which examines what women earn in comparison to men who share similar educational and professional backgrounds, women are earning $0.99 for every $1 that men make.

Progress has been made in closing the gender wage gap, but there is still much work to be done. Black women, who have historically borne the brunt of income disparity, continue to earn less than their male and female peers regardless of skill and profession. This has weakened their financial health by widening the racial wealth gap for their families.

A study from Goldman Sachs says the wealth gap is growing rapidly for Black households. According to analysts, the median Black household owns nearly 90% less wealth than the median White household. Black women particularly remain heavily disadvantaged across a broad range of economic measures, ranging from wealth, earnings and health.

"Lower levels of earnings for Black households account for about two-thirds of the average wealth gap," researchers wrote, "while the remainder is largely explained by financial factors, including access to capital and investment opportunities, personal finances, financial information, and housing."