Today is Latina Equal Pay Day. According to Lean In, It’s been reported that Latinas are paid 55 percent of what non-Hispanic white men are paid (unadjusted pay gaps). That means it takes Latinas almost an entire extra year of full-time, year-round work to be paid what the average non-Hispanic white man took home by December 31, 2019.
Here are three stats on Latina Equal Pay Day.
According to Lean In, on average, Latinas in the U.S. are paid 45% less than white men and 30% less than white women. That means Latinas are paid, on average, $0.55 for every $1 a white man makes, while white women are paid $0.79.
- Latinas are paid less than their counterparts for doing the very same jobs. And it’s not because Latinas are not doing their part. They ask for promotions and raises at higher rates than white men, but they get worse results.
- The pay gap actually widens for women at higher education levels. According to the study linked above, the gap is largest for Latinas with bachelor’s and advanced degrees.
- Lower earnings for Latinas also means less money for their families, especially since more than half of Latina mothers are the main breadwinners for their households. This impacts families’ ability to buy groceries, pay for childcare, invest in their children’s education, and more. If paid fairly, the average Latina woman would earn over $1.1 million more over the course of her career and could, on average, afford more than 2 extra years of rent each year.
Calling all managers! How can you and your organization support equal pay?
Put processes in place to ensure that employees doing the same work are being paid the same. Awareness is the first step to solving a problem.
- Analyze compensation by gender and race/ethnicity so you can see and address pay gaps and ensure that Latinas are being paid fairly. Then make sure you continue to audit compensation data regularly to maintain fairness.
- Set and publicize a bold goal for equalizing pay at your company. Given how important it is to equalize pay, companies should use targets more aggressively.
- Be explicit about how your organization determines compensation, so employees don’t have to guess what factors drive their pay.
- Don’t ask job candidates about their current compensation, which is illegal in some states and can perpetuate pay disparities.
Make hiring and promotions fair. If hiring and promotions are fair, Latinas are more likely to be paid on a par with other groups at their company.
- Set clear performance evaluation criteria before the hiring and review process begins—and put safeguards in place to be certain they’re applied consistently.
- Make sure evaluation tools are easy to use and designed to gather objective, measurable input. A rating scale is generally more effective than an open-ended assessment.
- Require diverse slates of candidates for hiring and promotions at every level.
- Track promotions and new hires by gender and race/ethnicity to ensure that Latinas are being treated fairly.
Train employees to identify and challenge bias. Unconscious bias can play a large role in determining who is hired and promoted, impacting what they are paid.
- Only a third of employees say managers often challenge biased language and behavior when they see or hear it. Unconscious bias training can equip managers to be part of the solution.
- Employees involved in hiring and promotions should receive unconscious bias training to help them make more objective decisions.
- Lean In’s 50 Ways to Fight Bias program is a card-based activity and video series that highlights 50 specific workplace bias examples and offers research-backed recommendations for what to do (available at no cost to companies).
Create equal opportunities for advancement. Latinas must get the experience they need to be ready for management roles and opportunities to raise their profile, so they get tapped for them.
- Put more Latinas in line for managerial promotions and for the types of high-profile assignments that lead to promotions and raises.
- Ensure that formal mentorship and sponsorship programs are in place and that they are opening doors for Latinas.
- Encourage informal interactions between Latinas and more senior colleagues. These types of personal connections can be even more effective than formal programs and can help propel careers.
- Track participation in leadership training by gender and race/ethnicity to make sure Latinas are fairly represented.
To help end inequality, shine a light on inequities in the workplace, and anonymously share your demographics to pinpoint pay and diversity disparities.