Gaining employment opportunities when you're black in America is becoming increasingly difficult. Even for those with a college degree, it seems as though the student loan debt is bigger than the job pool. With more and more students graduating in debt and unemployed, there are systemic barriers that are partly to blame. In September, GenForward released a survey of young adults conducted by the Black Youth Project at the University of Chicago with The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research with the staggering numbers.
The survey shows 48 percent African Americans ages 18-30 have experienced discrimination either on the job or while looking for one. These stats compare to only 10 percent of white people who have reported similar instances. Being black seems to make it harder to advance economically as 54 percent of black survey respondents agree. The problem goes even deeper for black women with little to no allies in the workplace. And wage inequality is an even greater issue. The Economic Policy Institute reports black women's average hourly wages were 19 percent lower than white women in 2015.
25-year-old Qymana Botts spoke about her experience with the Associated Press saying, "When it came time for promotions and raises and things like that, I was told I need to fit into a more European kind of appearance."
Botts said of her 2010 experience, "They wanted me to straighten my hair, but I wasn't willing to do that."
This isn't just an issue for in America but also for those across the pond as well. In a review of racial equality in Great Britain, an Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) study found that young black people have the worst job prospect in decades. There is a 49 percent rise in the number of black Britains who are unemployed and a two percent decrease in the number of unemployed whites.
"If you are Black or an ethnic minority in modern Britain, it can often still feel like you’re living in a different world, never mind being part of a one nation society", David Isaac, chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, shared with Mashable.
The systemic racism that creates barriers to employment and advancement have taken a toll on black millennials and as Hillary Clinton promises to change the gender wage gap, one wonders does that pertain to black women? And what does that mean for the rest of black America who are having difficulties finding employment? Will she change the employment gaps as well? As close as we are to the election, it seems as though we aren't close enough to a solution when it comes to this issue.
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