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The State of Black Women in Corporate America

A new report outlines strategies that employers can implement to advance Black women in corporate America for Black Women's Equal Pay Day


Lean In and McKinsey released their “State of Black Women in Corporate America” report today. Based on research on the experiences of Black women in the workplace, the report examines research from their annual collaborative study, “Women in the Workplace.” In time for Black Women’s Equal Pay Day, Lean In wanted to look at what is keeping Black women behind in the workplace and how to support complete fairness for all women at work

What Is Black Women’s Equal Pay Day?

Today marks the end of the 2019 calendar year for Black women. In other words, if a White male and a Black woman both started work on January 1, 2019, it would take a Black woman until today, August 13, 2020, to earn what a White male had earned by December 31, 2019. Black women must work an additional eight months to close the pay gap separating them and their White male colleagues. 

I had a moment to spend some time with Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook and co-founder of, to discuss the report and her thoughts about what Black Women’s Equal Pay Day means for all women. Her big takeaway is that the most important step is to confront our prejudices: “The data shows that if you think you’re not biased, you display more of the bias because you are not taking the steps to correct it.” 

Let’s examine the three most uncomfortable norms that Black women in the workplace face on a daily basis. 

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