Today is Latina Equal Pay Day, the day of 2016 that Latina women would need to work to in order to accumulate the same amount a white man earned in 2015.
This is because Latina women make 55 cents to every dollar a white man earns, and if progress continues at this pace, Latina women won’t reach pay equality until the year 2248. In contrast, white women should see pay equality by 2056, while black women won’t close the gap until 2124.
Almost three million households in the United States are headed by Latinas, and 40 percent of those families are living below the poverty line.
According to Vicki Shabo, Vice President of the National Partnership for Women and Families, there are a number of factors feeding into why the wage gap for Latinas persists, including family responsibilities and not being empowered to ask for the raise that they might deserve. She says, “if you think about the compounding access to quality jobs and lack of access to the supports that allow you to make ends meet, to be there for your family and to sort of rise and advance in your job and your career trajectory, these are all multiple problems that are being layered on top of one another.”
The Institute for Women’s Policy Research has pointed to a few policy initiatives that could quicken the closing the gap, including raising the minimum wage, cracking down on wage theft and already existent non-discrimination laws, and improving access to education.