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We need to talk about the Latina wage gap 

Latinas are not paid fairly. In fact, Latinas have the lowest earnings of any major race or ethnicity and gender group, earning on average, 43% less than white men and 28% less than white women. The Latina wage gap has persisted for far too long and, if we continue to do nothing, it will take up to two centuries to close this gap.

Latinas are a powerhouse population accounting for close to $1 trillion in US buying power, but earn on average only 55 cents to the dollar paid to white, non-hispanic men. This gap has hardly moved in over 30 years, and the longstanding pay disparities Latinas face have only been exacerbated by the Covid-19 crisis. 

Latinas make up just 7% of the overall workforce, but they account for 22% of child-care workers and there are nearly three in 10 Latinas working a front-line job today, but still being underpaid for their work. 

The wage gap for Latinas starts young, too. From age 16, Latinas are paid less than white boys the same age—and the gap continues to grow from there. 

Latina wage gap

The Latina pay gap by age. (Source: leanin.org)

Additionally, the wage gap widens for educated Latinas. Latinas are pursuing higher education more than ever before but education does not eliminate the wage gap. Data found that the gap is in fact largest for Latinas with a bachelor’s degree. 

Despite their higher education these Latinas earn 35% less than white men on average, and even in the same position, Latinas still earn less than white men. Latinas also ask for promotions and raises at similar rates to white men, yet for every 100 men promoted to manager, only 71 Latinas are promoted

Latina wage gap

The pay gap by education level. (Source: leanin.org)

Latinas face both sexism and racism in the workplace, with stereotypes fuling assumptions about Latinas’ work ethic and ambition. Stereotypes painting Latinas as overly domestic create the belief that Latinas are less ambitious in their careers making employers assume they don’t want to or expect to be paid well. 

These stereotypes and unfair biases are harmful and have real lasting consequences on Latinas and their families.  Latina mothers earn 54% less than white fathers, which means less money for basic family necessities like rent, food, school supplies, and impacts the family’s ability to save and invest long term.

Over time, the lost income adds up. According to the data, the average Latina’s career, she will lose over a million dollars compared to white men. 

Average income lost over a lifetime due to the pay gap. (Source: leanin.org)

Steps toward closing the Latina wage gap 

The gender wage gap has narrowed slightly over time but only by a few pennies over several decades. Currently the average pay for women in general is 82 cents per dollar earned by a man. A decade ago in 2011, that number was 77 cents, and in 1996 when the first Equal Pay Day was established, the number was around 74 cents. If this trend continues, the wage gap will not close for another 38 years or until around 2059.

For Black women the date is over a century away. And for Hispanic women it will be over two centuries before the wage gap closes if we do nothing to change the trend.

Some steps toward closing the Latina wage gap include supporting legislation and organizations aimed toward eliminating gender wage gaps such as PowHerNY, an inclusive statewide network of individuals and organizations committed to accelerating and securing economic equality for all New York women. 

Another step Latinas can take to combat the wage gap, especially for those in low-wage jobs, is to join a union. According to data, the overall wage gap for union members is 53% smaller than the wage gap for non-members. 

We cannot wait two centuries for the Latina wage gap to close. We need to take action now. 


For more information and further learning on the gender wage gap: 

https://www.latinaequalpay.org/  

https://www.pay-equity.org/index.html

http://www.equalpaytoday.org/

economic equality

How NYC Wage Transparency Law is a major step to close the gender wage gap  

The NYC Salary Transparency Bill has been signed into law, a significant victory for workers’ rights and economic equality. 

On January 15, 2022, NYC took another step toward economic equality when NYC Int. 1208 became law. This law now requires all employers to include the minimum and maximum salaries in job postings for any position located within NYC. Under the NYC Salary Transparency law, it will now be an unlawful discriminatory practice not to include the salary range on job postings. 

This win marks another success in PowHerNY’s Equal Pay Campaign to address and close the gender and racial wage gap that has robbed workers and families of wages and perpetuated cycles of poverty and economic insecurity. 

Gender and racial discrimination in worker salaries have prevented many women and minority groups from advancing in their careers and attaining economic security. Currently, women of color in NYC—including Latinas—still earn between 55 and 65 cents compared to white, non-Hispanic men. The anti-discriminatory policy of the NYC Salary Transparency law aims to address this gender and racial wage gap that continues to persist today. 

Assemblywoman Latoya Joyner. (Photo source)

“Changing the culture at so many workplaces, New York City’s salary range disclosure law will make sure that workers benefit from greater transparency when it comes to wages and benefits,” Assemblywoman Latoya Joyner (D-Bronx, 77th AD), chair of the Assembly Labor Committee said. “When employers provide much-needed clarity to pay structures and make that information available to employees and job seekers, companies are encouraged to update antiquated practices that have led to patterns of wage discrimination.” 

The law, sponsored by outgoing Councilmember Helen Rosenthal, which takes effect in 120 days, will provide job seekers with the information needed to negotiate fairer salaries and help businesses efficiently hire and retain the best talent that matches their needs. In the current tight job market, this new law positions New York City as a leader in an equitable recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic. 

“This new law brings women one step closer to reaching pay equity in their search for employment,” said CWA Local 1180 President Gloria Middleton. “Women traditionally have accepted jobs for far lower salaries than men because they did not know how to value their worth during a job interview. By requiring job postings to include both the minimum and maximum salaries, women will no longer have to sell themselves short to get a job; they will be on a level playing field with men.”

“This transformative law will minimize bias, maximize transparency, shift cultural norms and level the “paying” field,” said Beverly Neufeld, President of PowHer New York. “Because all workers across the state need and deserve this proactive solution to ending wage discrimination.”

PowHerNY advocates and vows to fight for continued reforms, including an NYS Salary Range law, to combat historic disparities in opportunities and pay. 

Latinas Equal Pay Day, gender wage gap

Latinas are among the most adversely affected by the gender pay gap. They are paid just 55 cents for every dollar earned by white, non-Hispanic men. (Source: latinaequalpay.org)

You might be interested: It will take two centuries for the gender wage gap to close for Latinas if we do nothing

About PowHerNY 

PowHerNY is an inclusive statewide network of individuals and organizations committed to accelerating and securing economic equality for all New York women. 

PowHerNY aims to amplify the efforts already in full swing around New York State, like the Time to Care campaign and the Women’s Equality Agenda, and take the lead on issues where good work needs to be done. They are committed to informing the community in real-time through social media, sharing resources, opportunities, and conversations with leaders. 

Focusing on key areas for advancement and equality, PowHer stands for: 

Poverty Solutions

Opportunity and Access

Workplace Fairness

Healthy Lives

Equal Pay

Representation at all Tables

What you can do now to help further equal pay efforts

Interested in getting involved with PowHerNY to help further the cause for economic equality?