- Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Latinas represent a large percentage of front-line workers in the U.S., according to the National Women's Law Center (NWLC). And October 29 is Latina Equal Pay Day — the day when Latinas in the U.S. make the same amount of money earned by White men the year before, NWLC said in a report published Oct. 25. Latinas had to work approximately 22 months to earn as much as White men were paid in 12 months, the organization found.
- Latinas typically earn, on average, 55 cents for every dollar earned by White, non-Hispanic male peers, NWLC calculated based on U.S. Census data. If the median wage gap does not close, Latinas will endure, on average, a "loss of $2,425 every month, $29,098 every year, and $1,163,920 over a 40-year career," NWLC estimated.
- A "lifetime wage gap" for Latinas exists in every state in the U.S., NWLC's March report found. For example, in Georgia, a Latina would have to work, on average, until the age of 101 for her career earnings to catch up to the career earnings of White men at age 60, according to the report.
In more than 30 years, there hasn't been much improvement in the wage gap. Latinas saw their pay ratio increase from 53 cents for every dollar paid to White men in 1988 to 55 cents today, according to the American Association of University Women (AAUW).
At this pace, AAUW estimated, it will take 432 years for Latinas to reach pay equity with White men. For Latinas, increased education doesn't significantly shrink the wage gap, the report found. Latinas who graduated high school earned 67% of what White male high school graduates earned. And, upon graduating with their bachelor's degree, the percentage dropped to 63%, according to the report.
"It is frustrating that women are still confronting such a persistent gender wage gap, but it is beyond disheartening that the gap is still so significantly wider for women of color and has remained stubbornly so for such a long time," Kim Churches, AAUW's chief executive officer, said in a statement.
The pandemic hit retail, restaurants and hotels hard, which has a disproportionate impact on women and Black and Latino populations research has shown, further exacerbating the wage gap for Latinas, according to NWLC. But the wage gap is also affecting Latina workers in professions critical to COVID-19 recovery such as doctors and nurses, according to an Oct. 28 report by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI). Latinas in these occupations, on average, earn 6% to 32% less than White men. The wage gap is highest among doctors and surgeons. Latina physicians are paid 68% of the average hourly wage of non-Hispanic White male doctors (a difference of $20.46 per hour), according to the report.
"Equal pay for Latina workers is long overdue," EPI said.