Latina Equal Pay Day shines spotlight on wage gap for Hispanic women

Latinas who work full time and year-round make an average of 57 cents on the dollar compared to white, non-Hispanic men, according to the National Women’s Law Center.
3:42 | 12/08/22

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Transcript for Latina Equal Pay Day shines spotlight on wage gap for Hispanic women
WELCOME BACK. TODAY IS LATINA EQUAL PAY DAY, THE DATE THAT SYMBOLIZES HOW FAR INTO THE YEAR LATINA WOMEN MUST WORK TO EARN WHAT WHITE MEN EARNED ON AVERAGE LAST YEAR, ACCORDING TO THE NATIONAL WOMEN'S LAW CENTER, LATINA WOMEN WHO WORK FULL TIME AND YEAR ROUND TYPICALLY MAKE FIFTY SEVEN CENTS TO EVERY DOLLAR EARNED BY WHITE, NON HISPANIC MEN. JASMINE TUCKER, DIRECTOR OF RESEARCH AT THE NATIONAL WOMEN'S LAW CENTER, JOINS ME NOW TO TALK MORE ABOUT THIS. JASMINE, THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE. WHAT HAVE YOU FOUND? ARE THE MAIN BARRIERS PREVENTING WOMEN FROM BEING ABLE TO MAKE MORE MONEY AND CLOSE THIS WAGE GAP? >> YEAH, THERE'S REALLY A WHOLE HOST OF THINGS THAT ARE AT PLAY HERE. BUT I THINK THE FIRST THING TO NAME IS SORT OF THE RACISM AND SEXISM THAT LATINAS ARE FACING IN THE WORKFORCE. THEY'RE NOT WORKING. YOU KNOW, HALF AS HARD. THEY'RE NOT WORTH HALF AS LAST HALF AS MUCH. THEY ARE THEY'RE WORKING REALLY HARD OR IN LOTS OF DIFFERENT JOBS. THEY'RE IN FRONT LINE JOBS, HIGH PAID JOBS, LOW PAID JOBS. AND IN EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THOSE, THEY CAN'T AVOID A WAGE GAP. SO EVEN WHEN THEY HAVE THE SAME EXACT QUALIFICATIONS AS WHITE MEN, IN THEIR FIELD, THEY'RE BEING PAID LESS. AND SO I DON'T SEE ANYTHING ELSE THAT EXPLAINS THAT EXCEPT THE RACISM AND SEXISM THAT THEY'RE FACING IN THE WORKPLACE. IS THERE A SENSE OF HOW THIS PAY GAP PLAYS OUT OVER TIME? >> DOES IT GET WORSE? DOES IT GET BETTER? AND DOES IT AFFECT PARTICULAR GROUPS OF WOMEN MORE THAN OTHERS? >> YEAH, YES. I THINK THAT THERE'S SORT OF A NOTION THAT LATINOS ARE SORT OF A HOMOGENOUS GROUP, AND THAT'S REALLY NOT TRUE. RIGHT. THERE ARE WHITE LATINOS. THERE ARE BLACK LATINAS. RIGHT. AND EVERY OTHER STATE IN BETWEEN. AND, YOU KNOW, THEY'RE ALL FACING SORT OF DIFFERENT FACTORS HERE. AND WE'RE SEEING THOSE WHO MIGHT HAVE MORE ACCESS. RIGHT. THEY MIGHT MAKE A LITTLE BIT MORE. BUT WHAT WE SEE IN, YOU KNOW, WHEN WOMEN GAIN, WHEN LATINAS GAIN MORE EDUCATION, THE WAGE GAP ACTUALLY WIDENS FOR THEM, BECAUSE WHAT WE SEE IS A MUCH HIGHER BONUS FOR WHITE MEN WHO AT HIGHER LEVELS OF EDUCATION. AND SO LATINAS GET A SMALLER BONUS AND SO THAT SORT OF ACCUMULATES OVER TIME. AND SO WHEN WE'RE LOOKING AT SORT OF LATINAS OVERALL, THIS WAGE GAP COST THEM TENS OF THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS EVERY YEAR. AND WHEN WE LOOK AT A 40 YEAR CAREER, IT'S A LOSS OF ALMOST ONE POINT TWO MILLION DOLLARS OVER THAT LIFETIME. SO BASICALLY, LATINAS WORK UNTIL THEY DIE AND NEVER CATCH UP TO WHAT WHITE MEN MADE BY AGE 60. >> SO WHAT CAN BE DONE ABOUT THIS? HOW DO YOU CLOSE THIS GAP? >> I THINK THAT THERE NEEDS TO BE SORT OF A MULTIPRONGED APPROACH HERE. I THINK FIRST WE NEED THE FEDERAL AND STATE POLICIES THAT ARE GOING TO DO THINGS TO MITIGATE THIS. STATES CAN PASS EQUAL PAY LAWS. WE CAN PASS THE PAYCHECK FAIRNESS ACT AT THE FEDERAL LEVEL. AND THEN I THINK BUSINESSES ALSO NEED TO BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE HERE FOR SOME OF THEIR THE PRACTICES OF HIRING PRACTICES AND THE PAY PRACTICES THAT THEY HAVE AND DO SORT OF AN INTERNAL AUDIT. I THINK EMPLOYERS DON'T NEED TO WAIT UNTIL THERE'S A STATE OR FEDERAL LAW TELLING THEM THAT THEY NEED TO DO SOMETHING . THEY CAN START TAKING ACTION NOW AND DO SOME OF THOSE INTERNAL AUDITS. AND I THINK IF IF BUSINESSES ARE REALLY SERIOUS ABOUT THESE EFFORTS THAT THEY'RE DOING, IF THEY REALLY CARE ABOUT DIVERSIFYING THEIR WORKFORCE, THEN THEY NEED TO MAKE SURE THAT THEY'RE PUTTING LATINAS AND BLACK WOMEN AND OTHER WOMEN OF COLOR IN THAT C SUITE. BECAUSE IF WE CONTINUE TO HAVE WHITE MEN IN THE C SUITE OF BUSINESSES, THEN WE'RE NEVER GOING TO HAVE A WORKPLACE

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