In recognition of Latina Equal Pay Day, media outlets are highlighting how the gender wage gap hurts working Latinas more than any other ethnic group in America, pointing out that it takes “almost an entire extra year of full-time, year-round work in order [for a Latina] to be paid what the average white man” makes in a year.
Latina Equal Pay Day Shines A Spotlight On The Hispanic Fight For Wage Equality
AAUW: Latina Equal Pay Day Marks The Day Latinas' “Earnings Catch Up To Men's Earnings.” The American Association of University Women (AAUW) marked Latina Equal Pay Day on October 15 as “the symbolic day when Hispanic and Latina women's earnings 'catch up' to men's earnings from the previous year.” [AAUW, 10/15/15]
On Latina Equal Pay Day, Media Highlight How The Gender Pay Gap Hits Latinas The Hardest
The Bay State Banner: Latinas “Hardest Hit” By Gender And Racial Wage Gaps. On October 14, Boston newspaper The Bay State Banner reported how Latinas -- both in Massachusetts and at the national level -- are hurt the most by gender wage disparities: “Latina women are the hardest hit in both Massachusetts and the nation.” As reported by the Banner:
Among the major demographics experiencing gender and racial wage gaps, Latina women are the hardest hit in both Massachusetts and the nation. To earn the same amount as a white men did in 2014, Latinas as a whole would have to work approximately ten months more, only catching up by October 8, 2015, reports the American Association of University Women.
That was the day the Massachusetts Caucus of Women Legislators and the Massachusetts Black and Latino Legislative Caucus convened a Latina Equal Pay Day briefing.
A variety of factors contribute to the wage gap, said speakers: circumstances push many Latinas into traditionally lower-wage jobs, many companies exhibit unconscious bias in hiring and promotion and Latina women frequently are the main -- or sole -- supporter of parents and children. With low wages going to support many other lives, Latina women are less able to save for college or retirement and face fewer opportunities for breaking the cycle of poverty.
Latinas have it worst: on average in Massachusetts, they earn just half of what men do, said Bookman.
The ripple effects are felt not just by the women but by their entire families. Increasingly, Latinas represent a major source of income for their families. In 1975, 23.1 percent of Latinas were breadwinners, said Bookman, whereas today, the number of Latinas bringing in at least half of the family income has jumped to 40 percent, not counting single mothers.
If the wage gap between Latinas and white, non-Hispanic men in the U.S. were eliminated, on average a Latina working full time would earn over 26 additional months of rent or more than 183 more weeks of food for her family per year, reports the National Partnership for Women & Families. [The Bay State Banner, 10/14/15]
Vivala: “The Wage Gap Is A Real Issue,” Latinas Make 56.6 Percent On Average Of What White Men Make. Online outlet Vivala explained that "[w]hile on average, women in the U.S. make 78 percent of what white men make, Latinas specifically make 56.5 percent of that. The wage gap is a real issue":
Huffington Post Latino Voices: On Average, “Latinas Earn Even Less” Than All Other Women When Compared To Men. Huffington Post Latino highlighted the Latina wage gap in a video posted October 8, explaining that “on average: it takes a Latina 21 months to make what a white man makes in a year”:
[Huffington Post Latino Voices, 10/8/15]
Research Shows Pay Gap Hurts Gender Equality In The U.S. And Affects Latinas The Most
AAUW: “Latinas Are Paid 54 Percent” Of What White Men Are Paid And Suffer From The Widest Gender Pay Gap Of Any Ethnicity. AAUW noted that Latinas are hit harder by the gender wage gap than any other ethnic group, earning only “54 percent of what non-Hispanic white men are paid.” According to the AAUW:
Thanks to the gender pay gap, Latinas are paid 54 percent of what non-Hispanic white men are paid. That means it takes Latinas almost an entire extra year of full-time, year-round work in order to be paid what the average white man took home by December 31. Think about how that adds up over a lifetime, and we're talking about losing a substantial chunk of change -- change that could have greatly aided Latinas and their families.
As AAUW's research shows, women of every race and ethnicity experience a gender pay gap. All these groups are paid only a portion of white, non-Hispanic men's earnings: Asian American women (90 percent); white, non-Hispanic women (78 percent); African American women (64 percent); Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander women (62 percent); and American Indian and Alaska Native women (59 percent). Altogether, women working full time, year round in the United States in 2014 were paid an average of only 79 percent of what white, non-Hispanic men are paid.
Choices around occupation help us understand some of the pay gap, but not all of it. In 2014, Latina and Hispanic women made up about one-third of the U.S. service industry, a sector in which workers are often paid by the hour and usually at the lower end of the pay scale. Research shows that women are underpaid compared to men in nearly every job in food service, even after accounting for tips. Hispanic women and men also account for nearly 15 percent of sales and office occupations and 37 percent of building and grounds cleaning and maintenance occupations, all of which are low-paying jobs. In addition to being overrepresented at the low-paying end of the spectrum, Hispanic women are underrepresented at the top. Hispanic women make up just 1 percent of jobs in engineering and computing, the two highest-paying STEM fields. [AAUW, 10/8/15]
World Economic Forum: On Gender Equality, United States Ranks 65th Out Of 142 Countries Surveyed. According to an October 2014 report by the World Economic Forum (WEF) that examined gender equality worldwide, the United States ranks 65th in out of 142 countries studied, and has a “wage equality score” of only 66 percent -- meaning American women earn only two-thirds of what American men earn for comparable work. The report, which was based on nine years of data, found that there has been “only a small improvement in equality for women in the workplace” since the WEF began its surveys on the issue in 2005, and predicted that women won't see full gender equality in the workplace until at least the year 2095. [World Economic Forum, October 2014]
Gallup: Americans Say Equal Pay Is Top Issue For Working Women. According to a September 2014 poll conducted by Gallup, "[n]early four in 10 Americans say equal pay is the top issue facing working women in the United States today.That sentiment was shared by both men and women - 41 percent of women and 37 percent of men agreed that equal pay is “the most important issue facing working women.” [Gallup, September 2014]