Photo by  London Scout  on  Unsplash

Photo by London Scout on Unsplash

By: Minda Harts, Founder, The Memo

By definition, the word invisible means unable to be seen, or not visible to the eye.

As a black woman in the workplace, there have been times I have been made to feel invisible. Growing up, so many of us are told we need to work twice as hard to get half as much.

When I heard this 80 cents number thrown around (research has suggested that women make an average of 80 cents for every dollar a white male makes), I was upset. The more I heard it, though, the more infuriated I became, because it doesn't tell the whole story: this number does not take into account that the average for women of color is often much lower! Women of color need to be included in the salary gap conversation. Point, blank, period!

Today has been designated as Black Women’s Equal Pay Day. The wage gap is a persistent issue that harms women, the ones they love, and our economy -- but it is particularly harmful to black women. Normally, days like these are created because well, you guessed right… the invisible at some point should be visible, and I am praise dancing that we have this day to educate the rest of the country.

Let me tell you, it is never any fun to find out that your colleagues are making more than you and perform the same function. I know the dynamics in the office place are not always equal, but we have to do what we have the power to do and that’s ASK!

If you missed any of our past memos on salary negotiation: Woman Up and Negotiation Tips, please revisit them. We will not close the gap unless we continue to educate and ask! As my grandmother always says, “Closed mouths don’t get fed.” Additionally, last year we conducted a Career Boot Camp on Negotiation Strategies with Angelina Darrisaw of C-Suite Coach and she shared some great tips on how to negotiate your fringe benefits: Click here!

Lastly, there is a big movement happening today on Twitter to discuss the inequality for black women. Join us for #BlackWomensEqualPay Twitter Storm in partnership with @NBCBLK @ 2-3 pm ET.