As it stands, women make 80 cents to every dollar earned by men. But, for women of color, that gap is far larger with Black women earning 61 cents to their white male counterparts and Native American and Latina women earning 58 cents and 53 cents, respectively.
Working to help address not only this wage gap, but the many other biases and micro-aggressions that women of color face in the workplace is entrepreneur and author Minda Harts. In her latest book, “The Memo: What Women of Color Need to Know to Secure a Seat at the Table,” Harts provides actionable and relatable tips for how women of color and their allies can make an impactful change in the workplace.
“I realized there was a gap in career development geared towards Black women and women of color,” Harts told Because of Them We Can. “Most of the career narratives are written through the lens of a white man or woman and I felt we were being left out of the conversation.”
Harts continues by saying she wanted women of color to read about some of the shared experiences they face in the workplaces and walk away with the tools needed to not just survive corporate America, but also thrive in it.
Referring to her book as a “love letter to Black and brown women,” Harts explains how her book is a continuation of the company she started in 2015 called The Memo, which is a career development platform for women of color.
Unlike other career books that offer a one size fits all approach to achieving success in the workplace, Harts says “this book is different because the career narrative is written by us, for us.”
“As Dr. King so eloquently wrote in his letter from the Birmingham jail, ‘we will live in the monologue and not the dialogue,’” she says. “I wanted that for Black and brown women at work.”
Harts, who is also an assistant professor of public service at New York University, is currently on tour helping to bring discussions about her book and the many issues women of color face in the workplace to cities across America. Known by many to be a career revolutionary, she says she hopes her book will teach women of color how to be better advocates for themselves at work and how to quantify their worth.
“Every time we have the opportunity to make an ask, we are helping chip away at the wage gap,” she says. “Every time we don’t ask, we widen it. I realize that just because you ask for more money doesn’t mean you’ll always get it, but at least you’re working on the part of the equation that you can control.”