We advocate for Women’s Equal Rights by providing resources and tools to empower women and obtain equitable opportunities for economic stability.
Why You Should Get Involved
The “in-equality” we decided to heavily focus on is the “paycheck’ for women. The gender pay gap isn’t a myth, and this gap has left women, and especially black women behind for far too long.
Pay Equality is the best way to stabilize the modern day family, and if we could continue making strides closing the gap, many families could afford the basic necessities, food, rent, childcare, etc. and achieve the American dream of building wealth for their future and generations to come.
The Equal Balance Movement started in 2017 by co-founders Melody Simmons-Hudson and Monica Simmons as a typical day of kitchen table conversation discussing the adversities both of these sisters have overcome in their academic and career journey. During our filming of “Invisible Women: Being a Black Women in Corporate America,” the data exposed that Black women faced prejudice and were unjustly paid for doing the same work as their counterparts. This led to our movement to tackle the inequities around pay and discrimination in the workplace.
For Black women, the barriers faced aren’t just gender. The inequalities consist of the “isms”- Racism, Sexism, and Ageism.
Both Simmons sisters have had their fair share of experiences dealing with these barriers. Between the two, they’ve worked for over a dozen start-ups Tech, Fortune 500, and private and public corporations throughout SF/Bay and Silicon Valley. These savvy ladies know firsthand how to speak up and advocate for what is “right,” whether that be employer discrimination, unequal pay, or navigating the INvisible Woman Syndrome.
“The numbers don’t lie, and while many women are advancing in the workplace, women of color and specifically Black women are being left behind in leadership roles across industries. Women are not just affected financially, but the emotional, physical and mental toll can be taxing. Too high of a price to pay! According to the U.S. Census, on average, Black women were paid 63% of what non-Hispanic white men were paid in 2019. That means it takes the typical Black woman 19 months to be paid what the average white man takes home in 12 months. That’s worse than the national earnings ratio for all women, 83%, as reported in AAUW’s The Simple Truth about the Gender Pay Gap.
We don’t think that’s a fair deal, and we want to change it by creating our table and adding more seats. We will continue to bring forth the change and support we want to see on our journey for women that look like us. The efforts for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion have not always benefited Black Women or provided the access, training, mentorship, and sponsorship to which women of other races have been privy.
Simmons-Hudson obtained her MBA-FInance from Holy Names University, a community committed to social justice that inspired The Equal Balance Movement. “My education prepared me to become a strong voice in the community and an advocate for women’s rights.” —Melody Simmons-Hudson, Co-Founder
Become An Ally
You can’t improve diversity in your corporate culture if you don’t fully understand all forms of discrimination and how they’re being perceived by those on the receiving end. The disappointment, discrimination and rejection described by the many women in the documentary is often subtle, say diversity experts, as is corporate unconscious bias.
The only way to shore up the divides, even at their most subtle, is to start — whether we’re the CEO, the head of HR or a direct supervisor — by admitting that certain behaviors or patterns of communication that are allowed to exist in business today are just wrong. Then start the conversation.
What happens to Black Women in or pursuing corporate careers should be something we all take seriously. And dealing with it should be all our jobs as well. ALL WOMEN FOR BLACK WOMEN!