Latina Equal Payday

While Latinas are seen as one of the demographic groups driving growth in the U.S. economy, their wage conditions are not improving at the same rate, according to several reports issued this week on the occasion of Latina Equal Pay Day.

This year, Latina Equal Pay Day falls on October 5, a symbolic day because it marks the 22 months for a Latina to work in order to earn what a White, non-Hispanic man earned last year. In fact, Latinas stand to lose more than $1.2 million over a 40 year career due to the staggering wage gap, according to a report by the National Women Law Center.

In 2022, a Latina working full time makes 57 cents for every dollar earned from a white, non Hispanic male and Part-time workers only make 52 cents for every dollar paid to white non-Hispanic men, NWLC reports. This pay gap amounts to a loss of $2,538 a month and $30,450 every year. The NWLC report suggests that the annual amount lost due to wage gap could pay for nine months of child care, six months of rent payments, and 14 months of family groceries.

Lean In, an organization that helps women achieve equality in the workforce, says that the pay gap starts early in the case of Latinas. "From age 16, Latinas are paid less than White boys the same age --and the gap only grows from there," says Lean In in a report using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The data reveals that at 16, Latinas face a 9% gap compared to boys. Between 24-54 years the difference is 34% and from 55 years on it's 42%.

There are also wage gaps between Latinas themselves. For example, in the U.S., Colombian women averagely make 65 cents, Guatemalan women averagely make 48 cents, and Peruvian women averagely make 62 cents for every dollar paid to white, non-Hispanic men, says NWLC.

Latinas with a degree experience an even wider wage gap compared to white, non-Hispanic men, Latinas stand to lose nearly $2.5 million over the course of 40 years, NWLC reports. A college degree which is often seen as a path to generational wealth, homeownership and other lifetime goals. Again Latinas experience less pay than white, non-Hispanic men with the same education level and are often paid less than white, non-Hispanic men with even less educational attainment.

For example, NWLC reports that Latinas working full-time, year-round with a bachelor's degree are typically paid $55,020, which is less than what white, non-Hispanic men working full-time, year-round with some college but no degree are typically paid $61,400. Latinas need to earn a master's degree to be paid more than white, non-Hispanic men with just an associate's degree.

One reason why Latina women experience a bigger pay gap is that they are overrepresented in the lower wage service occupations. Latinas working full time in retail made just 56 cents for every dollar paid to white, non-Hispanic men working full time, in retail, NWLC reports.

Latinas not only experience gender wage gap but they also are lowest paid among women. According to Forbes, women earn just 82 cents for every dollar a man makes. This disparity is even greater for women of color, with African American women earning just 60 cents and Latinas earning only 55 cents for every dollar earned by white, non-Hispanic men.

According to an analysis done by USA Today, in Corporate America, while 81% of women make up executive roles in the S&P 100, Latinas make up just 0.4% of named executive officers in 2022.

Latina Equal Pay advocates hope to pass two legislative initiatives: the Fairness Paycheck Act, and Raise the Wage Act of 2023.

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