Latina Equal Pay Day should motivate us all to achieve equal pay

According to a LeanIn survey, one in three Americans do not know that a Latina wage gap exists.

And nearly 60% of people who are aware of the Latina wage gap think it’s smaller than it actually is.

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Many may think Hispanic women no longer face obstacles to advancement, but Latinas clearly see things differently: two out of three continue to report myriad obstacles to advancement.

And the statistics back them up.

Did you know that it takes the average Latina nearly a year’s worth of extra work to catch up to what White men were paid last year?

This is because Latinas who worked full-time, year-round, were paid on average only 53 cents to every dollar earned by a White man.

Latinas, like all women, earn less than men, but also face the widest gap among women. In contrast to Latinas’ 53 cents to every White man’s dollar, women overall earn 80 cents to the dollar for full-time, year-round work.

Latinas, and all women, deserve better.

THE PAY GAP ULTIMATELY AFFECTS ALL OF US

November 1 is Latina Equal Pay Day. It marks the day on which Latinas’ earnings finally catch up to what White men earned in 2017.

Latinas and their families know how damaging the way gap can be, but many Americans don’t see or underestimate the Latina wage gap. That is why we partnered with LeanIn on their Latina Equal Pay awareness campaign and teamed up with the National Partnership for Women and Families to release a new fact sheet on the Latina wage gap.

Click to view a larger version of the graphic below:

The wage gap affects Latinas across professions, from CEOs and managers, to computer scientists and teachers. And while a portion of the wage gap can be explained by factors like education and experience, the wage gap nonetheless persists for women.

Worst of all, the wage gap facing Latinas shows no signs of closing any time soon. It has changed little over the last 30 years, narrowing by only one cent even as Latinas are entering the labor market and going to college at higher rates than ever before.

One cent. In 30 years.

Latinas are also overrepresented in low-wage service jobs, have limited access to benefits such as paid leave and access to retirement plans, and deal with discrimination.

These issues—combined with the wage gap—make it harder for Latinas and their families to get by on $32,002, the median yearly wage for the Latinas in the United States.

THE IMPACT ON FAMILIES

Over the course of a year, the wage gap costs Latinas and their families $28,386. With an extra nearly $30,000 per year in their pockets, Latinas could afford three years of child care, more than two years of rent, or significant contributions toward their retirement savings.

Eliminating the wage gap would also reduce poverty among more than one million Latina-headed households.

SOLUTIONS ARE POSSIBLE

Latinas want to see Congress pass policies that address these issues, like stronger equal pay laws, which eight in 10 Latinas (85%) strongly support, and paid family and medical leave legislation, which 80% of Latinas support.

For this reason, throughout the year—and especially today—we must call attention to the many obstacles keeping Latinas from high quality jobs, fair and nondiscriminatory treatment, and family-friendly workplaces. Latinas need strong policies to increase economic security and workplace benefits that work as hard as they do.

Click to view a larger version of the graphic below:

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By Catherine Singley Harvey, NCLR Economic Policy Project Today is Latina Equal Pay Day, marking the day when the average Latina worker’s wages catch up with the wages earned by […]