Latinas are paid less than white men and white women. On average, Latinas in the US, are paid 45% less than white men and 30% less than white women. This means that we are only getting paid $.55 cents for every $1.00 a white man gets to pay.
Latina Equal Pay Day is October 29 every year but we must talk about the wage gap all year long and continue to seek a solution. We work hard, we are smart and we need to find ways to help each other.
Here are four suggestions to help us bridge the gap:
- If you are a Latina in a Leadership role or the only Latina in your industry, mentor another Latina. Yes, I am asking you to share what you know with another Latina. The time of feeling that other Latinas are our competition is over; we need to support each other. We, as Latinas, need to celebrate other Latinas!
- Network in more than one Industry. Contrary to popular belief, saying that you should stay within your industry, I am telling you not to listen to this advice. I was able to get promoted several times in my career because I was curious about other industries and networked with people who eventually could recommend me for other jobs. I was loyal to my company and stayed with them for years but having other companies reach out to me to work for them gave me the tools and confidence I needed to negotiate higher salaries when promoted or my performance evaluation was due.
- Hire a mentor or mentor if you can, particularly if you are coaching others. It is not uncommon for successful leaders to have more than one mentor. Having a mentor will help you gain more confidence and clarity on your purpose.
- If you are an online business owner, do not discount your services or products. Instead, do a competitive service/product analysis researching your top three competitors and price your services/products above or in between their prices. We need to stop giving discounts to our compadres, compadres, el Vecino, etc. Our time and knowledge matter!
Here are some unacceptable facts about how the Latina Wage Gap affects our work and year-round finances. If the wage gap was eliminated, on average a Latina working full time year-round would have enough money to afford one of the following:
- More than three additional years of childcare.
- Nearly 19 additional months of mortgage payments.
- Almost two years of maximum retirement contributions to her employer sponsor 401 (k) retirement account.
- Pay off student loans in just over one year.