A Thank You Letter to My Mentors
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We go to college to get the education we need to work in our dream industry to make our mark in the world, but also to earn a decent income to support ourselves and our families, doing what we love. Right!?
Well yes, with a Bachelor’s degree, you have the potential to earn $1 million dollars more than someone who has their high school diploma.
However, as women, as Latinas, we go out into the real world, equipped with our degrees, ready to work in our career only to find out we have to contend with an ugly monster: equal pay for equal work.
In April, you have probably seen the #equalpayday #equalpay hashtags all over social media. It is meant to raise awareness to the frustrating issue of the wage gap between women and men in the U.S.
As you may already know, women earn 76 cents for every $1 a man earns.
“Now, a 20-cent gap might seem like small change, but small change adds up over time. For a 20-year-old woman starting full-time, year round work today, that 20 cent gap translates to $418,800 less than her male counterpart over the course of a 40-year career. To close that gap, she’d have to work an extra ten years.”
-via equalpay.org, “A LEGAL EXPERT EXPLAINS HOW TO FIGHT THE WAGE GAP RIGHT NOW (BUSTLE)”
However, as a woman of color, the numbers get worse, as you can see in the infographic below:
“Broken down by race, the lifetime wage gap is even more stark: for a Black woman, that lifetime wage gap adds up to $840,040. For a Native woman, it’s $934,240. For a Latina, it’s over $1 million. Left unchecked, that means Black and Native women would have to work well into their 80s, and Latinas into their 90s, in order to catch up to what white, non-Hispanic men are paid by age 60.”
– via equalpay.org, “A LEGAL EXPERT EXPLAINS HOW TO FIGHT THE WAGE GAP RIGHT NOW (BUSTLE)”
Nov. 1st marks the day that a Latina’s pay catches up to that of a Non-Hispanic white man.
“More than 50 years after the passage of the Equal Pay Act of 1963, Latinas typically earn only 54 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. Indeed, given that this is the last “Equal Pay Day” observance of the year, Latinas must typically work longer than … everyone. This disparity hurts not only Latinas, but also the families and communities they support.”
-via EqualPay.org, “Join Equal Pay Today! and Partners in Raising Awareness about #LatinaEqualPay Day“
Just a heads up, on November 1st, 2017, check back with us again as we will be highlighting this issue.
As Latinas, we must get involved in the fight to close the wage gap. We work too damn hard, we sacrifice too damn much to get that degree for access to a better life, only to get paid less than what we are worth simply because we are women, Latinas.
According to the Equalpay.org’s article, ” Good reads on Equal Pay Day 2017 — Wage gap apologists beware” They make several recommendations, a few we will list below:
1) Demand that your member of Congress and President Trump support the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would ban the use of prior salary during the interview and hiring process; protect employees from retaliation for discussing pay; close loopholes that allow employers to unfairly justify the gender wage gap; strengthen enforcement under the Equal Pay Act; and create a negotiation skills training program for women and girls. And let them know that you won’t settle for less than the best.
3) Engage on Social Media. You can download a selfie-worthy, state-specific graphic to tweet to your local, state, or federal policymaker, using #EqualPayDay (today) & #EqualPay (thereafter).
For more ways to get involved, click the link to the article above for more tips on what you can do to fight the wage gap.
We found these resources below very helpful in understanding the wage gap and what we can do to close it:
Have you experienced wage discrimination because you are Latina?
What will you do to fight the wage gap?
P.S.-Shout out to Issa Rae Productions and Make It Work for putting out this video about the wage gap facing us in the workplace.