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Issue Spotlight: The Wage Gap and Latina Women

Today, June 10, 2018 marks the 55th anniversary of the Equal Pay Act of 1963 signed by President Kennedy. This legislation aimed to abolish wage disparity based on sex. Over half of a century later, the fight for equal pay still faces a large pay gap. On average across occupational fields, men are paid more than women and women of color in particular. The gap widens following the wage disparities of women of color with Latina women making a mere 54¢ to a white man’s $1.

Numbers do not lie and a light deserves to be shed on this injustice. Equal Pay Day, on April 10th this year, symbolizes the day that women would earn the same as their male counterparts from the year before. Respectively, Latina Equal Pay Day is celebrated on November 2nd symbolizing the day that they would need to work to earn the same amount as their average white male counterparts from the previous year.

According to Consumer News and Business Channel (CNBC), although women are earning college degrees at a higher rate than men, research shows that women, more specifically of color, are still held in low-paying jobs. Furthermore CNBC research found that white applicants receive 36 percent more callbacks than equally qualified African-Americans, and 24 percent more callbacks than Latinos. Not to mention that on average, women who hold bachelor degrees are paid less than males with associate’s degrees.

In 2013, the median salary for Hispanic women was $29,020 while the median salary for all men was $48,202. The National Partnership found that with the $19,000 gap, Latinas would be able to buy approximately three years’ worth of food, more than one year of mortgage and utility payments, nearly two years of rent, five years of a family’s health insurance premiums, or more than 5700 gallons of gas. Our country prides itself on the notion that “all men are created equal” when we should be priding ourselves on the notion that all people are treated equal. The workplace has modernized over the past 55 years, it is time for our laws to update as well.

Posted courtesy of Latino Lubbock Magazine Digital News

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