serena williams wrote an essay calling for equal pay for black women

Equal means equal.

01 August 2017, 5:00pm

Serena Williams -- 23-time tennis grand slam winner and shining beacon of human strength and goodness -- is undoubtedly one of the best athletes in the world, and one of the highest paid, too. But regardless of how much she earns, it still isn't the same as what a white dude would doing the exact same thing. The same goes for every other black female, who Serena points out "earn 17% less than their white female counterparts," and "are 37 cents behind men in the pay gap -- in other words, for every dollar a man makes, black women make 63 cents." Which is obviously crap, regardless of where you sit on the pay scale.

The sportstar penned an essay for Fortune in honour of Black Women's Equal Pay Day about "the long neglected fact that the gender pay gap hits women of color the hardest." Not only does she highlight how insidious discrimination towards black women is in society, she also makes a case about how this can be changed.

Step one? Recognition. "We need to push this issue to the front of conversations so that employers across the U.S." -- and here, we'd also include the U.K. -- "can truly understand that all male and female employees must be compensated equally. Not close. Not almost the same. Equally."

Equal, meaning the same, meaning that colour or gender shouldn't dictate your worth, meaning that employers should recognise this and fix their payroll accordingly. As Serena so powerfully concludes:

"Black women: Be fearless. Speak out for equal pay. Every time you do, you're making it a little easier for a woman behind you. Most of all, know that you're worth it. It can take a long time to realize that. It took me a long time to realize it. But we are all worth it. I've long said, "You have to believe in yourself when no one else does."Let's get back those 37 cents."


Text Georgie Wright