February 1, 2022

EWNJ Statement for Black History Month 2022

This Black History Month, Executive Women of New Jersey (EWNJ) would like to honor our trailblazing Black women members for their immeasurable contributions to our organization and for transcending incredible odds to become leaders in their respective industries. Their accomplishments are a testament to their hard work, ingenuity, and the progress our country has made toward diversity and representation at all levels of the corporate ladder. However, as our 2021 A Seat at the Table Report on racial and gender equity demonstrates, more must be done to ensure women, particularly Black women, are represented in corporate leadership roles.

Our research shows that while there has been significant improvement in women’s representation on boards of S&P 500 companies between 2010 and 2020, where it more than doubled from 21% to 47%, the pace of progress for racial minorities has been much slower. New minority representation increased by only 10 points from 12% to 22% over the same period. When it comes to pay equity for Black women, the data is equally stark. While the gender pay gap affects all women, Black women earn nearly 25% less than their white peers. COVID-19 has exacerbated this gap, forcing millions of Black women out of their jobs because of child and elder care responsibilities, which continue to fall predominantly on their shoulders. These statistics are even more egregious when you consider that the data shows that companies with greater racial diversity outperform their counterparts.

It is not enough to simply celebrate Black Americans during Black History Month, we must ensure that we’re removing racial barriers to their success and honoring their hard work and contributions with the opportunities that they earned. In this spirit, we renew our call for New Jersey’s businesses to commit to equal pay and to increase the number of Black women in leadership.