It’s mission critical that equal pay becomes a reality for ALL women and people because when we experience a wage gap in our paychecks, the overall wealth gap widens across gender and race.
Latinas are pervasively shortchanged on wages and salaries regardless of their field of work, age, or education – and it’s part of the reason the average Latina’s net worth is less than 1% of the average white man’s.
When the wealth gap widens for communities already experiencing systemic forces of oppression, like racism, transphobia, xenophobia, and/or ableism, the opportunity gap for our lives and families *also* worsens.
Statistically, Latinas must work for 22 months to earn what white men make in just twelve. That’s TEN months of extra work and equates to earning 57 cents for every $1 paid to white men.
For Latina moms, it’s an even bigger disparity – just 46 cents, because caregivers typically face additional wage discrimination and barriers to employment. This is a painful and unfair symptom of systemic discrimination and flies in the face of the human reality that we are ALL deserving of a equal pay and paychecks that can support our families. Period.
By taking action together, we can make real progress in closing the systemically harmful wage gap that all women face, but Latinas and Afro-Latinas face most intensely.
With Latinas overrepresented in low-paying jobs due to occupational and educational segregation, raising the minimum wage to $15/hr with the Raise the Wage Act would help close the wage gap by giving 31% of Latinas a much-needed raise and relief from the endless stress of living in poverty.
By updating the Equal Pay Act of 1963 with the Paycheck Fairness Act, everyone would benefit from additional pay transparency and fairness, but particularly the wage gaps that impact Latinas and other women of color.
And last but certainly not least, we need Congress to implement a *permanent* paid family and medical leave program through the Build Back Better package, along with truly affordable childcare.
Paid leave and affordable childcare keep families afloat in many ways, and they also help close the wage gap by making it easier for women, parents, and caregivers to remain in the workforce while raising young kids, caring for family members in times of medical crises, or caring for their own health needs.  It’s time for the United States to finally build this type of infrastructure and we’re closer than ever to making it happen.
Thank you for all that you do!
Together, we’re a powerful force for economic justice.