‘Bottom of the Pay Scale’: Latinas Share Their Stories on Latina Equal Pay Day

By Araceli Cruz

October 29, 2020

“I say this every year,” comedian Cristela Alonzo said. “I want us to get paid like a man.”

On Oct. 29, Latina Equal Pay Day is observed to bring attention to the economic inequalities that Latinas continue to face. More than 50 years after the passage of the Equal Pay Act of 1963, Latinas typically earn only 55 cents for every dollar earned by white, non-Hispanic men and must work nearly 23 months to earn what white men earn in 12 months. 

RELATED: The Unemployment Rate May Be Recovering, but Not for Latinas

On social media, Latinas shared their views on money, salary disparities, and how they’re continuing to fight for equal pay. 

Journalist María Hinojosa, who recently published her memoir “Once I Was You,” tweeted, “About #LatinaEqualPayDay I’ll just say I know I was always underpaid. But I’m not afraid to ask for money now tho I should have been asking in my 20s. Look and learn Mijas.”

Comedian Cristela Alonzo tweeted “Today is #LatinaEqualPay Day. We get paid 54 cents to every dollar a white man gets paid. I say this every year. I want us to get paid like a man but we need to get paid like a white woman first. Latinas are at the bottom of the pay scale for women.”

California Sen. María Elena Durazo brought attention to the fact that Latinas, who already face pay disparities, have been hit harder financially during the pandemic. 

“The coronavirus pandemic and economic shutdown hit California Latinas the hardest—30 percent lost their jobs,” she tweeted. “1 in 5 Californians are Latina. To recover from this crisis, we must do more to support #UnseenLatinas. #LatinaEqualPayDay #InvisibleNoMore.”

RELATED: The Pandemic Left Nearly 20,000 Spanish-Speaking Domestic Workers With No Job and No Resources

Presidential candidate Joe Biden commented on how the Trump administration has neglected to respond to the pandemic and how it has affected Latinas. 

“Trump’s failed response to this pandemic has plunged our nation not just into a recession, but into a ‘she-cession’—with millions of women, particularly Latinas and women of color, bearing the brunt of lost hours, lost wages, lost businesses, and lost jobs. Millions of Latinas are still out of work or have dropped out of the labor force completely since COVID-19 hit.” 

Biden said, as president of the US, he would not just rebuild but also work on closing the gender wage gap and fight against wage discrimination “so that Latinas—and all women—are paid equally for equal work.” 

Latinas also face pay inequalities depending on their background. A 2019 report by the National Women’s Law Center shows that Honduran women experience the steepest wage gap among Latinas living in the US, typically making less than half —42.1 percent—of what white, non-Hispanic men usually make. Guatemalan women and Salvadoran women usually earn less than half—43.1 percent and 46.6 percent, respectively—of what white, non-Hispanic men generally make. 

Click here for more information on Latina Equal Pay Day. 



CATEGORIES: Economy | Latinos


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