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Latina Equal Pay Day

By October 29, 2020February 28th, 2024Women's Rights

Yes, the wage gap still exists.

Latina Equal Pay Day — the day when Latina pay catches up to that of white, non-Hispanic men from the previous year — is being observed on October 29, 2020.

It’s no secret that Latinos fall short as far as equal pay goes. We could throw ourselves a pity party because of this, but we don’t. Why? Because we’re Latinos and that’s NOT what our spirit has ever been about.

We are fighters, always have been.

So why are Latina women severely underpaid? Research shows we’re paid 47 percent less than white men and 31 percent less than white women on average. Why is it that it takes us almost 11 months to catch up to what white men make in the previous year? It’s definitely not because we aren’t working hard.

In fact, according to a news report, “the pay gap is widest among Latina women with a college education, and widens as higher levels of education are obtained. Latinas with advanced degrees only make two-thirds of the salary of their white male counterparts on average, and a similar discrepancy exists for bachelor’s degree and high-school degree holders. Latinas without a high school degree make 27 percent less than white men with similar educational backgrounds.”

It hardly makes sense that the higher education we receive the more we are “punished” in terms of salary. Latina women appear to lack mentors when it comes to knowing their job worth, negotiating salaries, and being self-aware of the value they bring to the table when it comes to applying for jobs.

But we can change that. It starts with each of us opening up a dialogue with the next generation about their worth, coaching them on how to negotiate salaries, and more importantly, letting them know their freaking worth!

As a first generation Mexican-American, I can tell you first hand, my parents DID NOT fight tooth and nail to come to this country, work 2-3 jobs at night to provide for my siblings and me, only to have me settle for less than I am worth.

So rather than throwing a pity party over what we may be currently paid, let’s get up and fight for our equality and for the next generation. I want to be able to look my daughter in the eyes and tell her I did everything I could to ensure she had just as fair of a chance as anyone else to succeed in this country.

We live in a country full of amazing opportunities. If we didn’t, our parents and ancestors wouldn’t have risked everything to come here for us. So doesn’t it make sense to ensure that these opportunities are equally available to those that work to obtain them? I want to make sure that the sacrifices my parents made were not in vain. I want to make my ancestors proud and give the next generation of Latina women something to talk about. So let’s stop talking about the disparity in wages, and let’s start doing something about it. We owe it to ourselves and to Latinas everywhere.

-Keren, A Case For Women

“People think of Latina women as being fiery and fierce, which is usually true. But I think the quality that so many Latinas possess is strength. I’m very proud to have Latin blood.”

–Zoe Saldana

Want to get involved? Here are 5 ways from Times Up to fight the pay gap:

  1. Get the facts about the pay gap. Nineteen states and 17 localities have enacted salary history bans, meaning it may be illegal for your employer to ask during the hiring process about what you previously earned. Find out if you live in one of those states.
  2. Support the Paycheck Fairness Act. The Paycheck Fairness Act, a comprehensive bill that seeks to close loopholes in the Equal Pay Act, is awaiting action in the U.S. Senate. Add your name to our petition to show your support for pay equity.
  3. Ask candidates running for office about their plan to close the gender and racial pay gap. Voters widely agree that pay inequality needs to be addressed. Whether it’s candidates for president, mayor, or city council, they can help solve this problem.
  4. Eliminate the pay gap in your workplace. Employers don’t have to wait for laws to make an impact. If you are an employer, you can conduct an annual assessment of the median pay gap to identify and then create a plan to close any gender or racial pay gaps. You can also post salary ranges in job postings and stop using salary history information when deciding whether to hire or what to pay someone. And you can support pay transparency within your organization by eliminating rules that prohibit workers from asking about or discussing their pay
  5. Understand your levers of power. Whether you’re a shareholder who can propose pay equity resolutions or an artist who can tell the story of the pay gap, we all have the power to shape the conversation and push for change.