Black Women’s Equal Pay Day: 20 Resources to Level Up Professionally + Financially

Black women make nearly $1 million less than white men during their careers. Yes, you read that right. $1 million dollars. Today, August 3rd is Black Women’s Equal Pay Day and while it’s an important milestone to acknowledge, it is not one to celebrate. On average, Black women are paid only 63 cents for every dollar paid to a white man, and so this is the day that marks the additional 214 days that Black women must work to catch up with what their male counterparts earned last year.

Without policies that specifically seek to close the gap, little progress will be made. But we cannot wait for others to do the “right thing”. We must take control of our careers and our bank accounts. We must speak out and stand up for those who cannot. Because at the end of the day, we have only progressed as far as the ones who still struggle the most among us.

Here are ten books you need to read:

  1. Strategize to WIN: The New Way to Start out, Step up, or Start Over in Your Career (and Expect to Win)
    As a Wall Street veteran, Carla A. Harris helps position readers to craft their own successful careers and offers advice on how to become a true leader in their own path to success. Whether it’s gearing up for a career change or recovering from setbacks, Carla offers a blueprint on how to manage careers no matter what comes your way. Your reputation is everything and she helps identify what to pinpoint by offering invaluable lessons for every female who wants to make a difference in their future.
  2. The Little Black Book of Success: Laws of Leadership for Black Women
    Elaine Meryl Brown, Marsh Haygood, and Rhonda Joy McLean offer a unique approach to filling your life with wisdom and invaluable characteristics to empower your career and personal life. Success isn’t just one size or shape and these empowering ladies uncover what it takes to build the blocks of true leadership-self-confidence, effective communication, collaboration, and courage to transform your career.
  3. Unapologetically Ambitious: Take Risks, Break Barriers, and Create Success on Your Own
    Shellye Archambeau tackles difficult uncomfortable topics head-on in her novel. She outlines how to approach corporate America. As Silicon Valley’s first African American CEO, Shellye is a true leader and inspiration laying the blueprint for how to achieve any of your personal and professional goals asking for help but also empowering yourself along the way. She recounts her difficulties as a young black woman, wife, and mother and what it’s really like climbing the ranks at IBM and subsequently her roles as CEO.
  4. Professional Troublemaker: The Fear-Fighter Manual
    New York Times bestselling author, Luvvie Ajayi Jones lays the groundwork in her inspiring humorous and realistic guidebook on how to be a fearless Black woman. She teaches readers how to ask for what they deserve. Women tend to be afraid of asking for what they want because they are afraid of hearing “no” or nothing at all yet that’s where the turning point lies with real change. In order to do the things that are meaningful, we have to ask for what we deserve because we can’t rely on anyone to do it for us, especially women as they live longer than men.
  5. We Should All Be Millionaires
    Rachel Rodgers offers a candid take on why we all deserve to be millionaires by laying out a simple groundwork to pay off debt, propel your career and take care of yourself. The wealth gap only widens for Black women, women of color, LGBTQIA_ women, disabled women and women with intersecting inequalities. She tackles these systemic disadvantages and fixes your relationship with your ability to build wealth. It starts within and as a Black female herself, she is empowering us all to reach for more opportunities and get the cash we deserve.

    Check out Rachel’s webinar,
    Making Money Is Simple

  6. The Memo: What Women of Color Need to Know to Secure a Seat at the TableMinda Harts offers a much-needed career step-by-step guide tailored to women of color. This isn’t just a business book rather a full-life career facing approach to tackling the unique barrier that women of color face. Drawing from her experience as a fundraising consultant to top colleges across the US, Harts speaks the truth about what really keeps women of color from having a seat at the table in corporate America and what to do about it.

    Check out the fireside we did with Minda:
    How to Get a Seat at the Table with Minda Harts
  7. Set Boundaries, Find Peace: A Guide to Reclaiming Yourself
    Nedra Glover Tawwab establishes a unique stance on how to retrain your brain and mindset through a simple yet proven effective method to establish healthy boundaries in your life. She believes the quality of your mind is your life and dealing with setbacks is part of the journey. Believing in yourself is only one step of the way. Speaking up for what you need and truly being yourself will get you past the most difficult hurdles to unleash your superpower.
  8. Get Over ‘I Got It’: How to Stop Playing Superwoman, Get Support, and Remember that Having It All Doesn’t Mean Doing It All Alone
    Elayne Fluker knows what it’s like to overcome failure and gender and racial stigmas. Inside her humorous and resourceful self-help guide, she offers unconventional wisdom about asking for help. It is a true strength not a weakness and pretending you are someone you are not will set you off track. Prioritize your family, co-workers and environment to propel yourself. We can’t do everything but we can do some things exceptionally well and it starts with knowing when to say no and asking for help to move ahead.
  9. What I Know for Sure
    Critically acclaimed author, broadcaster, spokeswoman, talk-show host, the nation’s only African-American billionaire and inspiration to millions across the globe, Oprah Winfrey offers a unique take on how she made history in her career starting with her heart, soul and being a champion of the life you want to live. As the highest-rated program of its kind, she dives into what made her talk show a hit, the power of networking, relationships, luck, and opportunity. Gratitude brings joy not the opposite and when preparation meets opportunity that leads to true success. Oprah knows how and when to speak the truth, a sort of truth that cannot be missed.
  10. Year of Yes
    Saying ‘no’ is powerful and necessary to protect your most precious asset, your time yet New York Times bestselling author and creator of Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal Shonda Rhimes dissects the steps on how to live with impact and why the ‘yes’ is underrated as well. Opportunity lives within action and figuring it out later is better than never getting started. Shonda helps readers understand how to tackle the unknown and future by taking that first leap of faith and conquering it all before it’s too late.

Here are ten webinars you need to watch:

  1. How To Leverage Your Gifts for Professional Success with Kimberly Cummings
    Learn to harness your personality, character, circumstances and environment to unlock your potential.
  2. Women & The Racial Wealth Divide with Lillian Singh, Cat Goughnour and Ebony White
    Learn the distinctions and harsh realities of social mobility and the brutal inequality in this country and what you can do.
  3. The Ladies Get Paid Book Tour: Dara Treseder
    Learn from Peloton’s SVP, Head of Global Marketing and Communications, how she’s broken boundaries, owned her worth, and taken command of her career.
  4. How to Show Up for the Black Community with Dr. Akilah Cadet
    Learn specific action steps you can take to be an ally.
  5. Can We Talk? Navigating Difficult Conversations with Dr. Leslie Nwoke
    Learn the power of speaking up and when to say no.
  6. Fireside Chat with Arlan Hamilton of Backstage Capital 
    Learn how Arlan went from being homeless on food stamps to founding Backstage Capital, a fund that is dedicated to minimizing funding disparities in tech by investing in high-potential founders who are people of color, women, and/or LGBTQ+.

  7. Ladies Get Paid Book Tour with Arielle Patrick
    Learn from one of the youngest Black C-Suite executives on Wall Street on how she supercharged her career and became a change-maker.
  8. Pathways to Power with Valerie Williams
    Learn how to achieve power in our workplaces while lifting up others along the way.
  9. How to Build Generational Wealth with Ms. Angela White
    Learn how to build a financial legacy to provide lasting freedom to the ones we love.
  10. How to Create a Strategy to Climb the Corporate Ladder
    Plan for the worst, hope for the best. If you fail to prepare, prepare to fail. Learn how to tackle your path with Lee and what you can and cannot control for optimal results.
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