The pay inequities Latinas face compared to our White, non-Hispanic male and female counterparts is a disparity that hurts Latinas and the communities they support. According to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, “Latinas earned only 57.3 percent of White, non-Hispanic men’s earnings, equivalent to $28,911 less for a year of full-time work” in 2020. Despite the growing number of Latinas getting college degrees, going into professional roles, and prodcing high-quality work, we continue to fall behind.
These numbers are concerning, given your salary’s impact on your long-term wealth. We are not only leaving money on the table that can help with paying off debt, investing in that side hustle, or pay for day-care expenses, but we are also forfeiting funds that can be saved toward retirement for your familia.
Based on what the data tells us, Latinas are missing out on millions of dollars throughout their lifetime earnings. This is why I cannot stress enough the importance of knowing your worth and fighting for higher pay. While the full onus can’t fall on us because this is a systemic issue with many layers, there are many things we can do to make sure we’re speaking up and asking for our worth.
As a compensation professional, I am frequently asked: “How can I find out how much I am worth in my current job? How do I negotiate for higher pay?”
Well mujeres, I am going to share my top three tips when it comes to salary negotiation. I have learned these things throughout my career in compensation and have even used them myself. I was recently able to obtain a 35% salary increase with a pretty nice sign-on bonus so if I can do it, you can too.
1. Do Your Research
I wouldn’t be a true compensation professional if I didn’t advise you to look at data. There are so many great resources out there that you can utilize to help you understand compensation ranges. Learn how much you should be making or how much the job you’re interviewing for is worth. These websites give you the average pay of someone in a similar industry, years of experience, and education. Keep in mind that companies have different pay philosophies and structures, but these resources are good reference tools. Before negotiating pay, it’s vital to do your research and propose a realistic number that you can back up with market data. Some of the websites I highly encourage to use are:
2. Keep Track of Your Accomplishments
A task that can be tedious but beneficial is to always be fully versed on your accomplishments in your current and past roles. For example, it is not a good idea to go into your boss’s office and ask for a raise without any justification. Having an accomplishment log can help you articulate and prove to your leadership that you deserve higher pay. It can also be used during an interview to show what you bring to the table.
Here is what you should keep in your log
- Awards or accolades
- Projects you have worked on: include your role and impact
- Performance ratings throughout the years
- New process you implemented
- Money earned for the company
- Certificates or skills earned
3. Be Confident
In order to get what you want, you need to believe that you can achieve it. If you don’t believe in your worth, how can your future employer or current boss see it too? One thing that can boost your confidence before entering any salary negotiation is preparation. So do your research, have your accomplishment sheet, channel your inner J.Lo, and go get those coins, mujer! You deserve it.
About the Author
Jackie Garcia is a native of the Rio Grande Valley in Texas. She is a graduate of Texas A&M University and worked in the energy industry as a HR professional and now works in the tech industry as a Executive Compensation Analyst for Hewlett Packard Enterprise. In 2019, Jackie launched a platform called Elevate Your Pay on Instagram & Facebook. This platform is dedicated to helping women of color get the salary they deserve.