A 2021 report by Goldman Sachs found that “due to complex historical factors and ongoing discrimination, Black Americans — and especially Black women — remain heavily disadvantaged across a broad range of economic measures, including wealth, earnings and health.

The median Black household owns nearly 90% less wealth than the median white household, and the gap is even slightly larger for single Black women relative to single white men.”

The report found that this is largely due to the gap in earnings, with the hourly earnings gap of Black women standing at 15% relative to white women and 35% relative to white men.

In this “Financially Savvy Female” column, we’re chatting with Brandy Mickens, a financial advisor and executive vice president of Equitable Advisors’ mid-America branch, about some of the solutions for narrowing the gap.

Start Openly Discussing Finances Mickens grew up in a household where money, savings and overall financial planning were not discussed, and feels this lack of open discussion is one of the reasons there is a major wealth gap in the Black community.

Make an Effort To Mitigate Student Debt According to the Association of University Women, Black women have the highest average total of student debt, at $41,466 for undergraduate degrees and $75,085 for graduate school one year after graduating.

Life insurance creates a financial legacy. Single Black women are four times less likely to inherit assets than single white men, perpetuating the generational wealth divide. By leaving an inheritance, you can assist close the gap.

Have an Overall Financial Plan “Many Black women don’t plan the way they should because they experience advisor bias, or advisors who don’t understand their unique situation, who they are as a person and their relationship with money,” Mickens said.