Skip to main content
Sara Alcid's picture

I’m going to tell you something that’s going to make you mad. And then I’m going to tell you something we can do about it. Here we go:

Right now in the United States, Latinas earn just 54 cents for every dollar paid to a white man and Latina mothers earn just 46 cents for every dollar paid to white fathers. [1,2]

This horrifying wage gap is why we are raising our voices today to mark Latina Equal Pay Day, the day signifying that Latinas in the United States have to work ALL of 2016 and until November 2nd of 2017 to finally earn as much as white men earned in 2016 alone.

→ We can’t end pay discrimination and close wage gaps if employers can hide the fact they are paying women and people of color less than white men. *Sign this petition today and tell the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission it must move forward on developing a revised equal pay data collection now. 

One of the best ways to ensure equal pay is to increase transparency around wages and ensure race and gender wage gaps can’t be hidden under the rug. But this summer, the Trump Administration’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) blocked an important Obama-era equal pay initiative – the EEO-1 equal pay data collection – which would have required large corporations to report pay data by race and gender to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). [3]

OMB put a hold on the pay data collection subject to an indefinite “review” that has no timeline or defined process. Now it’s up to the EEOC to figure out a path forward on the equal pay data collection.

Meanwhile, it’s November 2nd, 2017 and Latinas in the United States have only just caught up to what white men were able to earn in 2016 alone.

This largest wage gap in the nation is a big deal for our national economy. According to a Nielsen report, 28 million U.S. Latinas are in “the driver’s seat of U.S growth.” [4,5] In fact, they are the fastest growing purchasing power market in the nation and they are the worst paid too. When Latinas are not getting paid fairly, the U.S economy suffers because we are not putting this money back into the economy.

As consumers, Latinos wielded more than $1.4 trillion in buying power in 2016. [6] That is larger than the GPD of Mexico and bigger than the economies of all but 14 countries in the world. [7] With Latina moms influencing 86% of purchasing power in their household, [8] they are changing the economic future of our nation.

It is very likely that this trend will grow since U.S. Latinos are the fastest growing ethnic group in the country and Latinas are expected to grow from 16.4 percent today to 25.7 percent in 2050. [9]

→ Add your name now and tell the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission it must move forward on developing a revised equal pay data collection now. 

Over the course of the year, we’ve marked several different “Equal Pay Days” -- days that highlight how long it takes for women who work full-time, year-round to earn what their male counterparts make in one year alone. For instance, when you take the average of all women working full-time, year-round compared to white men, then "Equal Pay Day" falls in April. For all moms who work full-time, year-round compared to white dads who do the same, “Moms Equal Pay Day” falls in June. Using the same calculations, for African American women "Equal Pay Day" is in July, and for Native American women, the date fell in September.

It isn’t until November that we come to Latina Equal Pay Day. These wage gaps are simply unacceptable!

Opponents of equal pay policies like the Paycheck Fairness Act often brush off the wage gap as a myth – or as something that only exists because of the choices women make about jobs.

But that is simply not the case. The opponents are wrong.

Even when controlling for job type, education, hours worked, etc. economists consistently find that the gap cannot be fully explained away by anything other than discrimination. And that gap occurs across occupations. [10]

This discrimination is happening through all occupations and across the pay scale spectrum. For instance, Latinas working in the highly-paid professions of lawyers, engineers, physicians or surgeons, Latinas earn .56 to the dollar compared to their white, non-Hispanic male counterparts in the same job. [11] At the opposite end of the pay scale spectrum, Latinas are overrepresented in some of the lowest wage jobs. And in those fields (home care workers, retail, service industry) Latinas working full-time, year-round, still face a wage gap –making .54 cents to the dollar compared to white, non-Hispanic men in the same fields. [12]

→ To close the wage gap for Latinas and other women in the United States we need the right tools and that means we need the EEOC to move forward on revising pay data collection. 

Your voice is important. We need as many people as possible to sign on to this letter via the link above so the EEOC knows that moms, dads, and people who care about moms are paying close attention to this issue and are urging them to take action for the good of our families and our economy. If you know someone who could be impacted by the pay gap (and you probably do), please send this information to her, she will appreciate it!

***And also, after taking action, please make sure to forward this email to your friends and family — and/or copy the action link to your Facebook and Twitter pages.

Unequal pay is hurting us all—and when we all come together to raise our voices, including to sign on to letters like this one, we can update our outdated policies and stop the wage gap.

Together, our voices are powerful!

P.S. Do you know someone who might be interested in receiving this information in Spanish? Please send them this link so they know more about Unequal Pay! Find information in Spanish here:

[1] National Women’s Law Center: Equal Pay for Latinas
[2] National Women’s Law Center: Motherhood Wage Gap 2017 
[3] Chicago Tribune: Trump administration halts Obama-era rule to shrink the gender wage gap 
[4] Nielsen: “Latina 2.0: Fiscally Conscious, Culturally Influential & Familia Forward,” 
[5] NBC News: Latinas Gaining Consumer Power 
[6] Fortune: Latinos Power the U.S. Economy 
[7] The Business Journals: Hispanic buying power in U.S. soars to $1.4 trillion 
[8] Nielsen: Latina Power Shift 
[9] American Progress: The State of the Latinas in the United States 
[10] The New York Times: The Pay Gap Is Because of Gender, Not Jobs 
[11,12] NWLC: Equal Pay for Latinas

The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of strongly encourages our readers to post comments in response to blog posts. We value diversity of opinions and perspectives. Our goals for this space are to be educational, thought-provoking, and respectful. So we actively moderate comments and we reserve the right to edit or remove comments that undermine these goals. Thanks!