A recent report published by Goldman Sachs’ One Million Black Women Initiative, as featured by Black Enterprise, reveals challenges faced by Black women in the U.S. due to workplace disparities.
The report, “Money Matters: One Million Black Women Economic Mobility Survey” reveals that 40% of Black women have household incomes under $50,000 annually — a stark contrast to the 24% of the general U.S. adult population earning the same. This economic disparity extends to living paycheck to paycheck, with 71% of Black women in this cycle compared to 63% of the general population.
The profound findings of this study reveal that Black women are disproportionately affected by growing debt, insufficient career advancement opportunities, and inadequate benefits like health insurance and paid sick leave. For instance, it’s reported that only 43% of Black women receive health insurance through their employer, compared to 53% of adults nationwide. Additionally, less than half have retirement savings, and only 50% benefit from paid sick leave.
These disparities are not just numbers; they represent systemic barriers that slow the economic mobility and career progression of Black women in the workforce — with 42% reporting a lack of opportunities for advancement. This is particularly significant given that Black women are the fastest-growing demographic of entrepreneurs in the U.S., pointing to a trend that could reshape and contribute to the workforce if supported and leveraged appropriately.
Goldman Sachs suggests that addressing these issues could not only close the earnings gap for Black women in the U.S. but also potentially increase the country’s annual GDP by up to 2.1%, generating between 1.2 to 1.7 million jobs.