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Systemic sexism and racism


6% of CEO at S&P 500 companies are women. https://www.catalyst.org/research/women-ceos-of-the-sp-500/

7% of CEOs at Fortune 500 companies are women. https://fortune.com/2020/05/18/women-ceos-fortune-500-2020/

At least 59 countries have had at least one women leader BEFORE the US (Presidents, Prime Ministers, or equivalent). Note many of those countries, such as New Zealand, have had different women reelected multiple times so the aggregate number of women elected is MUCH higher than 59. https://www.cnn.com/interactive/2016/06/politics/women-world-leaders/

4% of CEOs at Fortune 500 companies are black Americans. https://www.cnn.com/2020/06/01/business/black-ceos-george-floyd/index.html

1% of CEOs at S&P 500 companies are black Americans. https://adage.com/article/news/americas-few-black-ceos-are-speaking-out-killings-and-protests/2260381

17% of Republican senators are women. https://www.senate.gov/senators/ListofWomenSenators.htm

  • (note 40% of Democratic senators are women)

7% of Republican House of Representatives are women. https://cawp.rutgers.edu/women-us-house-representatives-2020

  • (note 39% of Democratic senators are women)

1% of Republican senators are black Americans…there is only ONE black Republican senator. https://history.house.gov/Exhibitions-and-Publications/BAIC/Historical-Data/Black-American-Representatives-and-Senators-by-Congress/

5% of Democratic senators are black Americans…there are only TWO black Democratic senators.

.05%, yes one half of one percent, of Republican House of representatives are black Americans…there is only ONE black Republican House of Representative member out of a total 233. While every stat here is outrageous, this one makes me want to scream. https://history.house.gov/Exhibitions-and-Publications/BAIC/Historical-Data/Black-American-Representatives-and-Senators-by-Congress/

  • (note 24% of Democratic House of representative are black Americans)

White women earn about 82% of the wages as men. https://www.businessinsider.com/gender-wage-pay-gap-charts-2017-3#the-gender-wage-gap-varies-widely-depending-on-the-state-1 . Note this data is harder to get as sometimes it is not “like for like jobs or experiences”. Studies can vary too. But no matter the source, the vast majority show of data shows that there is a pay gap. And even if you were to say it is not like for like, the fact is that pay gap is also larger as women (black or white) are not promoted and/or given the same higher paying opportunities (as the stats above, below and countless others show) which in effect causes the wage gap. In other words, if women are discriminated against and not promoted like men, of course the salary discrepancy is significant.

Black American women make about 66% of wages as white men. Note the same disclaimer as above.

26% of board members at S&P 500 companies are women. https://www.catalyst.org/research/women-on-corporate-boards/

Less than 1% of board members at S&P 500 companies are black Americans. https://www.blackenterprise.com/power-in-the-boardroom-corporate-governance/ (this is equivalent to a total of 21 directors out of thousands).

20 to 25% of black students do not have internet access at home. https://usafacts.org/articles/internet-access-students-at-home/ . This is compared to about 15% of white students.

About 15% of high level management jobs are women. https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/women/reports/2018/11/20/461273/womens-leadership-gap-2/

Horrible diversity – systematic racism

Do we have your attention yet!?

We seriously hope so, as if not then you obviously have no empathy as to how others are treated or you are an entitled white male. Not only should we have your attention, but if you do not have a visceral reaction to these stats then you are willfully ignorant, if not flat out racist or sexist.

And it goes on and on…this is just a small sampling of the data. Almost every stat and data point shows that minorities and women lag in income, asset levels, employment opportunities, and are not provided the same opportunities as white men. Not to mention stats around black Americans being treated unfairly by the criminal justice system as well as women facing sexual harassment. In addition, other minorities, such as Hispanics, have similar or worse stats than above.

For kicks, we will probably continue to add to these stats/post that highlight the systematic racism and sexism in America.

Something wrong with you if you did not see a problem caused by systemic racism and sexism

Look at that data. If you do not see that there is something terribly wrong with what is going on in this country then there is something wrong with you. This extreme unfairness/inequality and racism/sexism is not based on my opinion (or anyone elses’s). The unfairness is not based on emotions or subjectivity. The data is not based on the Controversial, Harmful and Hateful Speech or False Stories caused/encouraged by Facebook (which by the way Facebook encourages division in society which is another post in itself – personally I think Facebook has now turned into one of worst things to happen to the world in a long time).

What I have always found so strange is that I think a large number of women (the majority of women?) have come around to acknowledging the fact that women are not treated equally in the workplace. So take it one step further. If women acknowledge this fact that they are discriminated against/not treated fairly, then they should completely understand how black Americans are not treated equally as well.  Look at #MeToo movement or countless other movements. If women feel sexism, not having equal rights, etc. applies to them, I would think the vast majority of women (regardless of their beliefs including political party) should be extremely empathetic to the discrimination and racism that black Americans and minorities face. I find it so sad that literally every single female, who face sexism themselves, they should be able to see crystal clear what blacks are facing.

All of these data points above are facts/numbers….and the beauty of numbers as well as math is that they do not lie (no matter what some politician or people these days try to say or manipulate). If you do not believe there is something wrong in the opportunities that minorities and women are given, and that they do not face racism/sexism, then you are either showing willful ignorance or there something mentally wrong with you.

And you know what may be even more tragic with this situation is that is that those numbers above (as horrible as they are) are actually improvements from what was happening 5, 10, 20, 40 years ago. So as horrible as sexism and racism is today (as reflected by numbers, stats and data) it was much worse 5 years ago, 10 years ago, 20 years ago and 40 years ago.

Systematic racism and discrimination as culture does not change “overnight”

If you do not know what systematic racism is, while there are several definitions, I like this one. Note it applies to both racism and sexism too.

“A system in which public policies, institutional practices, cultural representations, and other norms work in various, often reinforcing ways to perpetuate racial group inequity. It identifies dimensions of our history and culture that have allowed privileges associated with “whiteness” (or being a male) and disadvantages associated with “color” (or being a female) to endure and adapt over time. Structural racism or sexism is not something that a few people or institutions choose to practice. Instead it has been a feature of the social, economic and political systems in which we all exist.”

Please read that a few times. Let it sink in. Think about it ,let it soak in. Reflect. Systematic involves history and culture. It is long standing and ingrained into society. It is not easily changed or fixed. The fact is that the culture of a company, population, organization or entire country does not change at the flip of a switch. Anyone who works, goes to school, or quite frankly breathes should realize that the culture of an organization (much less a society or country) does not change easily or quickly. Now keep that fact in mind.

Now think about this. This is a very, very brief summarized “high level history” of our country when it comes to equal rates/racism.

1. Slavery was legal and defended morally and (ultimately) militarily from 1619 to 1865.
2. After slavery, racial discrimination was lawful and defended morally (and often violently) from 1865 to 1964.
3. Women’s Suffrage, or women’s right to vote, was not given nationally until 1920,
4. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 did not end illegal discrimination or racism, it mainly gave black Americans the legal tools to fight back against legal injustices.
5. It is unreasonable to believe that social structures and cultural attitudes that were constructed over a period of 345 years will disappear in 56 years (from 1964 to 2020).
6. Moreover, the consequences of over 345 years of legal and cultural discrimination, are going to be dire, deep-seated, complex, and extraordinarily difficult to make better.

The fact is that the Civil Rights Act, when it went into effect in 1964, was just an attempt at some basic legal protections. Even that act was not “perfect” but rather a start. The Civil Rights Act did not flip a switch and make racism go away. Heck even as we just wrote about some schools did not even desegregate until the 1970s. Or read more on winning the ovarian lottery

What is sadly comical, and that shows that change occurs very, very slowly due to systematic racism and sexism, is that the Equal Pay Act was signed in 1963. That was 47 years ago! A lot of good that has done (right) over the last 47 years as women are still underpaid as the data shows. It should not be hard to believe that Civil Rights Act did not all of sudden make things fair either.

The only thing the civil rights act did was give some legal protection to minorities – not end racism. If you think that July 2, 1964, when the Civil Rights Act was signed, that blacks were immediately given the same opportunities as whites then once again you are completely unrealistic and quite frankly ignorant. Every single business or political professional, as well as psychologist and quite frankly everyone with any experience with life knows it is impossible to change a culture overnight.

Other interesting facts that show some of the hypocrisy

The stats above around opportunity and discrimination/sexism are horrible. And I can’t stress it enough…that is but a small sampling of the horrible stats. Now look at some of the hypocrisy in the system. Women are held back even though women get more college degrees than men and are a larger part of the workforce. Black Americans are held back even though blacks make up larger percentages of active duty military on a per capital basis – yes, the people that protect our country. Women make up more than 50% of the workforce, and college educated women make up more than 50% of the workforce.

Black Americans make up about 17% of active duty military. https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/04/13/6-facts-about-the-u-s-military-and-its-changing-demographics/ . (note blacks are about 13% of the US population, so they make up a disproportionate percentage of the people who protect our borders.)

57% of bachelor degrees go towards women as well as 59% of masters degrees. https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2019/06/20/u-s-women-near-milestone-in-the-college-educated-labor-force/

About 51% of college educated workforce is women.

Immigrants are twice as likely to start a business (based on per capita) than Americans.

Think systematic racism and sexism do not exist? Then wake up! Look at the data. Educate yourself. Read some books, in particular history books. Get off facebook and social networks and your “feeds” that feed you information and are based on the algorithms that are programmed to only give you information (much of it extreme) to reinforce your current political beliefs in an effort to keep you interacting with social social networks so companies like Facebook can make money. As the more controversial content they allow, the more interaction they get ,and the more views/money they make.

Do not just watch CNN and/or Fox News (or read liberal and/or conservative sites) but read or watch both liberal and conservative sites or TV broadcasts. Get multiple opinions as well as perspectives. Talk to blacks, whites, women, white males, the disadvantaged and others. Do not get “brainwashed” by Liberal or Conservative news or perspectives…open your mind. Be thoughtful. Use critical thinking. As who, what, how, why, where. Be open minded…I can’t stress this enough. Ask questions.

And learn about the hundreds of years of sexism and racism in this country….and ask yourself, do you really, truly think that racism and sexism that has been embedded in our society for hundreds of years, do you really think that the sexism and racism magically went away in a matter of years? And quite frankly, if you think that it does go away and/or has gone away in those years, then you are wrong and you need to go back to educating yourself.


Jon McNamara is the CEO of needhelppayingbills.com, a company that he started in 2008 and that specializes in helping low income families as well as those who are in a financial hardship. He also found NHPB LLC, a company committed to helping the less fortunate. Jon and his team also provide free financial advice to help people learn about as well as manage their money. Every piece of content on this website has been reviewed by him before publishing and many of the articles he has personally written. Jon is the leading author for needhelppayingbils.

3 thoughts on “Systemic sexism and racism

  • June 11, 2020 at 1:52 pm

    Is race really the issue in America? We elected a black president for 2 terms. Most open immigration policy in the world. If the US was a hot bed of racist dogma and violence who would bother coming here? Is this latest blow up in Minnesota really just the reality that certain groups have simply not been able to move forward. Could it be the breakdown of family units, the failure of decades of liberal policies which simply throw money at the problem. How come the biggest failures are in heavily democratic cities? Chicago, Baltimore, St. Louis.
    Police brutality, while a real issue, is simply a smokescreen so we don’t actually deal with the systemic problems or root causes in places like the Southside of Chicago or Baltimore? So defunding the police is the latest solution being thrown around? Let me know how that goes, and let me know who will be answering the 911 calls that were made.

  • July 2, 2020 at 6:45 pm

    As I read this article I’m reminded of a quote from Republican Herman Cain:
    “People sometimes hold themselves back because they want to use racism as an excuse for them not being able to achieve what they want to achieve.”

    Instead of complaining and being the victim, why not try working harder so that you can get a job instead of feeling like you are entitled to have one handed over to you? Better yet, if these people are as smart as they claim they are, start your own and become an American entrepreneur.

  • July 5, 2020 at 6:14 pm

    The Left agenda has become dominant in many employment sectors. The premises of said agenda are: white men are the scourge of the Earth; white men have historically screwed over minorities and women; it is payback time; and, aside from “oppressed” classes “getting even,” it is time for white men to move aside and let others get their long-denied and well-deserved turn.


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