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What is “Latina Equal Pay Day”?

The gender wage gap is a pressing issue for workers across the nation and the intersection between gender and race compounds the struggles women face at work.

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While studies have shown that women are frequently underpaid and are regularly barred from executive positions within the workplace, Latina women face some of the highest levels of pay inequality. 

One effort to bring these inequalities to light is Latina Equal Pay Day, similar to Equal Pay Day, as both measure the pay gap between men and women.

Latina Equal Pay Day marks the day that Latina women would have worked enough time to make equal pay in comparison to their White male counterparts from the previous year, this year’s falling on Dec. 8.

At a glance, it may seem like Latinas are making more money than White men, with the day happening before the end of the year. However, this unfortunately could not be further from the truth.

For every dollar a White non-Hispanic man makes, Latinas make only 49 cents on average, taking nearly two years of work to reach the same amount.

Over the past 30 years, Latina women have made an average of 60 cents per dollar their White male peers have made, last year's average of 57 cents dropping to this year's average of 49. 

Latinas being underpaid is an issue with a long history. According to the ​​American Association of University Women (AAUW), it will take 432 more years to close the wage gap, with the pandemic compounding existing issues further.

The reasons for this include Latina overrepresentation in lower paid positions, such as in sales or service related positions, and underrepresentation in higher paid positions, comprising 1% of jobs in engineering and computing, the two highest paying positions in STEM.

Education plays a role too, as 36% of Latinos aged 18 to 24 enrolled in college in 2020, helping increase women’s education and earning.

To close the pay gap, targeted efforts will ultimately need to be undertaken to help advance equal pay laws and practices, address biases, and promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace.

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