October 21 is Equal Pay Day for Latinas in 2021. That means the average Latina needed to work all of 2020 and most of 2021 to earn what the average White, non-Hispanic man earned in 2020 alone.
To put it another way, Latinas earn 57 cents for every dollar White, non-Hispanic men earn. In comparison, the average woman earns 82 cents for every dollar earned by White, non-Hispanic men. This demonstrates the importance of looking at gender pay equity from an intersectional standpoint.
Latinas face both gender and racial biases in the workplace, with some facing additional biases and obstacles related to things like disabilities, LGBTQ+ identity, or motherhood. As a result, their workplace experiences are different from those of White women, Black women, Latinos, and other intersectional groups.
Pay disparities can be seen with many different factors, including:
The controlled pay gap takes into account education, years of experience, occupation and other compensable factors. When these are considered, Latinas earn 98 cents for every dollar earned by a White man with the same job and qualifications. The median pay for White men in the survey was $75,000, suggesting that Latinas earned $1500 per year less just for being Latina.
This finding also indicates that the uncontrolled pay gap is due to Latinas working in lower-wage jobs. Latinas are much more likely than White women and men to have hourly jobs. And among employees with hourly jobs, Latinas are 2.5 times as likely as White men to earn less than $15 per hour.
Latinas are also less likely to be in leadership positions compared to other intersectional groups, limiting their lifetime earning potential. Five percent of entry level positions are filled by Latinas, but only 3 percent of manager roles, 2 percent of senior manager and director roles, and 1 percent VP-level and above positions are filled by Latinas.
At the rate we’re going, the pay gap for Latinas won’t close until the year 2197. Surely, we can do better than that. Every organization can make an impact by not only addressing internal pay equity, but hiring and promoting underrepresented people including Latinas into higher-paying roles to influence the external pay gap.
Here are a few ways to make real progress:
The pay gap for Latinas typically amounts to a loss of $2,409 every month, $28,911 every year, and $1,156,440 over a 40-year career. Assuming a Latina and her white, non-Hispanic male counterpart both begin work at age 20, the wage gap means a Latina would have to work until she is nearly 90 years old to be paid what a white, non-Hispanic man has been paid by age 60. That’s eight years beyond her life expectancy.
Even if your organization has reached internal pay equity, there may still be more you can do to close the external wage gap. This is particularly true for organizations in high-paying industries or with high-paying roles. Hiring and promoting more Latinas to increase representation at every level can help put an end to the unfair wage gap Latinas face.