Black women in Pittsburgh working with employers to eliminate wage gaps

PITTSBURGH — According to the gender equity commission, for every dollar a white man makes, a Black woman in Pittsburgh only makes 54 cents, a wage gap advocates say must be closed.

Pittsburgh’s been called one of the most livable places in the U.S., but for Black women living in the region, their fears of financial insecurity are overwhelming.

“It’s not poverty in the sense of absence of incomes; it’s poverty in the sense of not enough income,” said Rochelle Jackson, CEO of the Black Women Policy Center.

Jackson has made it her goal to work with the area’s top employers to close the wage gap.

She says it’s worse in this region.

“(Nationally) a Black woman makes 58 cents per every one dollar that a white man earns. In the Pittsburgh region it’s 54,” said Jackson.

Jackson said to find that middle ground and close the gap, employers would have to be willing to make the necessary changes.

The policy center says as companies begin to take the pledge to close the gap, their names will be posted to their website for prospective employees.

Rosamaria Cristello is the founder of the Latino Community Center, a nonprofit organization that has 35 employees. She says the work will be difficult, but she is ready to take on the task.

“It’s going to be uncomfortable, and I think it’s going to have to take both sides to be transparent, honest and get through this,” said Cristello.

She hopes more employers take the pledge. She will host various workshops until they do.

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