It's #EqualPayDay, and that means it's time to remind folks that pay inequality is still very real in the United States, and in many other countries. It is also important to remember that like feminism in general, this issue is intersectional, so if we're going to tackle the wage gap, we have to delve deep below the surface. 

We've all heard that the wage gap between men and women is 20 percent, but women of color are often erased in that conversation, especially since the gap between men and women widens when one looks at white men versus women of color. To highlight the disparity between white men's earnings and those of black women, there is a separate day specifically for black women each year called Black Women's Equal Pay Day, which was held on July 31 last year. 

This year, things are worse: Black Women's Equal Pay Day will be recognized on August 7. Native American and Latina Equal Pay Day will be September 7 and November 1, respectively.

Asian American and Pacific Islander Equal Pay Day was observed on February 22 this year, according to CNBC.

To further highlight the how much longer it takes women of color to earn what a white man doing the same job earns in a year, Candace Reels of the intersectional feminist site, Female Collective, posted a sobering image on Instagram this week: 



"Today is #equalpayday, which marks the day in the year women need to work before they’ve earned the equivalent of what their male counterparts made the previous year," Reels captioned the post. "But let’s remember that it’s worst for POC, especially WOC. Let’s continue to speak out and vote for people who believe that equal work deserves equal pay!"

Black women earn $0.63 for every dollar that white men earn, while white woman earn $0.79 per every dollar a white man earns. According to Voice of America, the wage gap is slightly worse this year than last year. 

"There are a lot of reasons why this gap remains," noted Elise Gould, senior economist at the Economic Policy Institute, "And there is certainly room for some of that to be discrimination."

Workplace bias is certainly a significant issue, and Lisa Crooms-Robinson, a professor of law at Howard University, says that bias is often apparent right from the beginning during the hiring process. Crooms-Robinson also noted that women of color are often blocked from leadership positions. 

"More companies prioritize gender diversity than racial diversity, perhaps hoping that focusing on gender alone will be sufficient to support all women," wrote Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg in a Wall Street Journal op-ed last year.  "But women of color face bias both for being women and for being people of color, and this double discrimination leads to a complex set of constraints and barriers."

According to Crooms-Robinson changing corporate thinking is one of the keys to ensuring Equal Pay Day and the wage gape become things of the past.

"Committed organizational leadership at the very highest level is essential to make such a significant culture shift," the Crooms-Robinson said.