Serena Williams is urging black women to be “fearless” in asking for equal pay.
In an essay for Fortune magazine on Black Women’s Equal Pay Day on Monday, the tennis champ says the pay gap for black women is one of “the many realities black women face every day.” Williams’ essay says black women earn only 63 cents for every dollar a man earns, and 17 percent less than their white female counterparts.
“Together, we will change the story — but we are going to have to fight for every penny,” Williams writes. “Growing up, I was told I couldn’t accomplish my dreams because I was a woman and, more so, because of the color of my skin. In every stage of my life, I’ve had to learn to stand up for myself and speak out.”
Williams continued, “I have been treated unfairly, I’ve been disrespected by my male colleagues and — in the most painful times — I’ve been the subject of racist remarks on and off the tennis court. Luckily, I am blessed with an inner drive and a support system of family and friends that encourage me to move forward. But these injustices still hurt.”