Latina Equal Pay Day may have popped into your social media account earlier this month. The 1st of November marked Latina Equal Pay Day, a day that highlights the major pay gap Latinas face in the workforce. Latinas are paid a whopping 53 cents on average for every dollar that white, non-Hispanic men make, according to the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement. To better resonate and make matters worse, when averaged women all together make 80 cents on the dollar for every dollar every white man earns. It doesn't end with white men either, white women make 79 cents to a white man’s dollar.
There are 27.9 million Latinas in the US and they represent 8.7% of the population. More than ever we are enrolling secondary education and graduating with a college degrees. By the year 2060, 1 in every 4 women in the US will be a Latina. Since the year 2000, our purchasing power has gone up 167% to $1.4 trillion and is projected to reach $1.8 trillion by 2021. There are many studies with varying reasons as to why this major disparity exists. According to fortune.com the reasons behind vary from “ the lack of Latinas in top-paying roles to the over representation of Latina in low-paying jobs like childcare and hospitality.
These figures were eye opening and hard to take in.
Toma La Iniciativa
There are many resources out there that can facilitate that journey and allow you to take control. Start by joining the Business Resource Groups of your company, even better the committee! Some employee networks go by the names of Latino, Black, Women and LGBTQ. Regardless of your level of seniority or position you will have an opportunity to be heard, valued and engaged in issues that matter. For instance, leading a panel discussion on topics relevant to your community and developing your leadership skills. You will have a voice in the table and opportunities that in your position may not exist. You'll gain experience that you can add to your resume and make you stand out.
Figure out how much you are worth! There are many tools out there. When you are searching in the job market be willing to negotiate. Glassdoor and Comparably are great resources that provide you with tools and insights on company culture, employee sentiment and average employee salaries.
Habla Y Opina
Eva Longoria echoed last year in her op-ed for Fortune. “I come from a long, proud line of smart, hard-working Mexican-American women, and this injustice strikes deep. So I ask myself: How can we start to address the widespread and enduring gender wage gap problem?” she wrote. “The first step is a cultural shift in which we acknowledge our unconscious biases and, as a society, believe women when they say the wage gap isn’t a matter of personal choice (e.g. taking time to raise children, not asking for a promotion), but rather a symptom of systemic gender discrimination.”
As our population grows it is important for all of us to pave the way for younger generations of Latinas. Spread the word to those around you and follow the movers and shakers who day to day empower Latinas to get ahead.