I was coming back from vacation on Monday and, all over my Instagram and Twitter feeds, I saw a trending topic as ridiculous as #BlackLivesMatter: #BlackWomensEqualPayDay.
WAIT!!!! Don’t unfollow my blog! Here’s why hashtags like the aforementioned, though serious, are dumb.
In 2017, we all realize that we have implicit biases. It’s human nature. As sophisticated as we claim to be, most of us can be very simple-minded. But, when making a decision, especially one as important as hiring and pay grades, a human resources professional and manager should be asking “What would I pay this person if she didn’t look the way that she does? Or if her name wasn’t what it is? Am I, at first glance, being unfair? What if, instead of a 5’6″ black woman named Tomeka Jones, her name was Robert Bush or William Carter and she was a 6’0″ white man? What would I pay her?”. Statistics show that she would be paid 33¢ more per dollar were that the case. And, what if she were brunette-haired white woman named Jane Spellings? She’d still be getting 13¢ more than Tomeka (still unfair to Jane because Rob and Will are still 20¢ in the lead).
It cannot be reasonably disputed that an inability to be objective reinforces a perpetual system of inequality that prevents Americans of all backgrounds from being able to attain the same quality of life. Can Tomeka get to where Rob is in life? Certainly. Just look at Maxine Waters, Oprah Winfrey, Michelle Obama, Sheila Johnson, and Janice Bryant Howroyd. But the stress that she must put herself under to do so will likely shorten her lifespan and that is not right.
So, as I said at the onset, this hashtag is dumb. We should be beyond having to say black lives matter or that black women should be paid equally. How does that sound? Why can’t we adults actually live the ideals that we teach our children? We won’t be able to overcome this injustice in the workplace until enforceable legislation is put in place to protect everyone’s pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness, not just white men’s.
It’s really a shame that we have to be told to be good people to one another.
Make equality for all humans a priority.