Latina Equal Pay Day. We’re Still Waiting...
A brief overview of Latina Equal Pay Day and what it means
Latinas lose over $1.2 million over the span of their career due to the wage gap. To stand side by side next to their white male counterparts, it would take Latinas two years to earn what their counterparts earn in one. In 2021, Latinas working full time were paid approximately $0.57 for every dollar earned by white, non-Hispanic men, the National Women’s Law Center reports — when part-time workers are included in the comparison, Latinas only made 54 cents for every dollar paid to white, non-Hispanic men in 2021 - forcing Latinas to work longer over the span of their life without a future for retirement. (On average, women are paid 77 cents for every dollar paid to men.)
This equals almost $30,000 in lost wages per year, which could pay for 10 months of child care, nearly a year of food and seven months of rent.
Although Latinas are entering the workforce in record numbers - approximately $12.6 million - they continue to face the largest wage gap among women in the workforce. While the main explanation for the Latina wage gap is the overrepresentation of Latinas in low-wage occupations and industries coupled with discriminatory hiring process and salary determinations, other factors still play a major role even for Latinas in executive positions such limited access to retirement benefits, paid family leave, medical leave and sick days.
Coupling these factors leave Latinas - many leading as the head of household in their homes - at a loss with the inability to make ends meet, save for the future and access traditional credit, according to the Unidos US study, in turn leaving Latinas to experience a higher rate of poverty.
In our survey in August 2022, nearly half of Latinas (46%) reported not having a savings account. One in six (17%) have no bank account of any kind: not having enough money for minimum balance requirements is the most common reason for remaining unbanked. Four in ten Latinas (41%) indicated that they have no emergency fund. And more than four in ten of the Latinas we surveyed (43%) said that loans or debt had affected their ability to afford healthcare.8 Achieving pay parity is the first step to ensuring that working Latinas now and, in the future, can achieve economic security and find an opportunity to build and maintain wealth.
Eliminating the wage gap would increase access to Latinas, their families and their overall communities as they continue to lead as the head of household.
If eliminated, on average, Latinas would have enough income to afford one of the following major investments in their overall well-being and path of life:
A Latina could pay for the following:
• Nearly 33 more months of childcare.
• Nearly 16 additional months of mortgage payments.
• More than two additional years of rent.
• More than 17 additional months of premiums for employer-provided health insurance.
• Eliminating her student loans in just over one year.
Latinas need equal pay and they need it now. If progress continues at the same rate as it has since 1985, Latinas will not reach equal pay with White non-Hispanic men for another 185 years, or until 2206.
(**Latina Equal Pay was observed on December 8th, 2022**)