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  • Writer's pictureThe Bridge Sisters

Latinx Heritage Month: Breaking Down Barriers for Latina Equal Pay

Updated: Feb 21



illustration of latina female figure with text that reads Let's work towards closing the pay gap
On average, women earn just 83 cents for every dollar earned by men performing similar work. However, this gap is even wider for Latinas as they make only 52 cents for every dollar earned by non-Hispanic men.


As a Latina women-owned business, we want to seize the opportunity presented by Latinx Heritage Month to raise awareness about critical issues affecting our community. Today, October 5th, we join the Latina Equal Pay Day campaign acknowledging that this is one of the most pressing concerns for our community due to the incredibly wide gender wage gap that disproportionately impacts Latina women [1].


When we take a deep look into the gender pay gap, it becomes clear that women, especially women of color, face substantial disparities in income. On average, women earn just 83 cents for every dollar earned by men performing similar work. However, this gap is even wider for Latinas as they make only 52 cents for every dollar earned by non-Hispanic men.


This financial setback not only creates economic insecurity. It also limits opportunities for advancement, as well as their ability to support their families and provide high-quality education for their children, thus perpetuating a cycle of inequality.

Furthermore, according to the National Women's Law Center, almost 16% of the low-paid workforce is represented by Latinas. However, their share of the overall workforce is only 8%. In 2021, almost 39% of full-time working Latinas in low-paid jobs lived in or near poverty, and this figure rose to nearly 48% for those working part-time.


The consequences of this wage gap are incredibly harmful for Latina women and their families, and the repercussions will persist for generations to come. Research shows that Latinas stand to lose more than $1.2 million over a 40-year career due to pay disparities. This financial setback not only creates economic insecurity. It also limits opportunities for advancement, as well as their ability to support their families and provide high-quality education for their children, thus perpetuating a cycle of inequality.

As we celebrate Latinx culture, let's also commit to dismantling barriers, advocating for equal pay, and creating a future where Latinas, and all women, are valued and compensated fairly for their contributions.

As a feminist social impact business, this issue is close to our hearts and one of the main drivers of our mission and business model. TBS is a team of Latina women working to serve the Latinx community by supporting organizations that work to advance policies for gender equity within immigrant populations. Our personal and professional experiences have taught us that building equality requires fostering an environment where everyone has equal opportunities to thrive regardless of their background. However, achieving this goal is not possible without a deeper understanding of the systemic and structural inequities (such as lack of access to health care, education, affordable housing, paid family leave, and pregnancy accommodations among others) that make it almost impossible for Latinas and other women of color to thrive and develop generational wealth.


In 2021, almost 39% of full-time working Latinas in low-paid jobs lived in or near poverty, and this figure rose to nearly 48% for those working part-time. The consequences of this wage gap are incredibly harmful to Latina women and their families, and the repercussions will persist for generations to come.

Let this Latinx Heritage Month be an opportunity to raise awareness about this important issue. We urge businesses and organizations to reflect on what they are currently doing to help close the gap and consider actions they can implement in the future.

As we celebrate Latinx culture, let's also commit to dismantling barriers, advocating for equal pay, and creating a future where Latinas, and all women, are valued and compensated fairly for their contributions.



 

[1] We recognize the importance of noting that the statistics used in this article do not specify information about Latina trans women or non-binary people. This is relevant because the discrimination experienced by these individuals can lead to variations in the wage gap. They face discrimination on the basis of race but also due to their gender expression.

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