The tennis legend wrote a passionate essay for Fortune on Black Women's Equal Pay Day on July 31, laying out the blueprint for "how Black women can close the pay gap."
“Today is Black Women’s Equal Pay Day,” Williams wrote to begin the essay published Monday. “This day shines a light on the long-neglected fact that the gender pay gap hits women of color the hardest. Black women are 37 cents behind men in the pay gap — in other words, for every dollar a man makes, black women make 63 cents.”
She added: “I’d like to acknowledge the many realities black women face every day. To recognize that women of color have to work — on average — eight months longer to earn the same as their male counterparts do in one year.”
While Williams acknowledged that she’s in the “rare position to be financially successful beyond my imagination,” she made sure to specify that “if I never picked up a tennis racket, I would be one of” those Black women.
From there, Serena rolled out her blueprint, laying out the initial steps that must be taken to stop this unfair and vicious cycle.
“Changing the status quo will take dedicated action, legislation, employer recognition, and courage for employees to demand more,” Williams continued. “In short, it’s going to take all of us. Men, women, of all colors, races and creeds to realize this is an injustice. And an injustice to one is an injustice to all.”
She added: “The first step in making a change is recognition. We need to push this issue to the front of conversations so that employers across the U.S. can truly understand that all male and female employees must be compensated equally. Not close. Not almost the same. Equally.”
To help the cause, Williams has joined SurveyMonkey’s board of directors to help cultivate and gather more answers about what Americans think about the pay gap.
Williams also took to her Instagram account yesterday to post sticking points about Black Women’s Equal Pay Day and overall pay inequality.
July 31 is Black Women's Equal Pay Day, which represents the number of days into 2017 a black woman must work to earn the same pay a white man made in 2016 — that's nearly 8 extra months! Black women are the cornerstone of our communities, they are phenomenal, and they deserve equal pay.
The gender pay gap hits woman of color the hardest. I hope I can give a voice to those who aren’t heard. In recognition of #BlackWomensEqualPay, I partnered with @SurveyMonkey to find out Americans’ opinions on the pay gap. The response was powerful. Read my article today in @fortunemag, link in bio.