In a series of events called “Where Do Black Women Go To…,” four educated black women, each with a history in finance and business, held an informational meeting about how to “secure the bag” Wednesday, Sept. 25.

According to Urban Dictionary, “securing the bag” alludes to maintaining success, especially when it comes to making money.  

Kyla Carter, a junior psychology major and organizer of the event, opened up with a simple question, “What is equal pay?” 

The beginning slide of a PowerPoint at the event gave the definition of equal pay. 

“Pay Equity is defined as equal pay for work of equal value,” Carter answered her own question. 

According to Equal Pay Day, the typical black women must work almost twice as long to make just as much as the typical white man makes in a year.

Carter explained the difference between controlled and uncontrolled wage gaps. 

An uncontrolled wage gap is a median salary for all men and women regardless of external factors. A controlled wage gap measures pay for men and women with the same job and qualifications. 

Next, Carter opened the floor up to the panel by asking a question, “What is your biggest financial mistake?” 

Michelle Conwell, who has a bachelor's degree in business organization behavior and is an employee at Citizens Bank, answered the question candidly. 

“My personal biggest mistake was not being educated and taking money from FAFSA and spending it on anything but school,” she said. 

Gloria Ware, a finance bachelor's degree holder and fellow panel member, also shared her experience in her worst financial mistakes. 

“Mine was not negotiating salary, just accepting whatever was thrown at me,” she said. 

The panel agreed the long and well-known practice of not talking about co-workers' salaries is a form of systematic racism.

Each panel member chimed in agreeably about how this practice is put into action so black women and other people of color don’t have to be paid as much as their white counterparts. 

Alisha Robinson, a panel member, said the only way to overcome this is to do your research, know you qualifications and worth and start on the high end of negotiations. 

“You always have to prove yourself because they have an expectation that you are not good enough,” Robinson said. 

Lastly, the ladies discussed how to save money. 

For this topic, all panel members seemed to agree that the number one rule of saving is to start as young as possible.

Jameka Peake, M.B.A. and Associate Director for One Stop Student Services on Kent campus, said she lives by one rule when it comes to saving. 

“If you don’t have it, don’t give it,” Peake said. 

She also left the group with one last piece of advice. 

“If you don’t have a goal that drives you, you won’t be able to save.” 

For information about the “Where do Black Women Go To…” series, visit the Women’s Center website or email them at wc@kent.edu

Contact Kennedi Combs at kcombs3@kent.edu.

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