Latinas are one of the least paid of all female demographics in the U.S. next to Indigenous and Native women, with .54 cents to what every white non-Hispanic man makes for all earners, and .57 cents for full-time year-round earners. We are ready to turn these stats around, and we believe our collective effort as a community will help eradicate pay disparity. Last year, we partnered with Indeed to introduce ‘Latinas Own The Table’, a conversation gathering six Latina Jefas as they share the four critical elements to demand the pay we deserve.
As far as we’re concerned, Latina Equal Pay Day (LEPD) should not even exist, but for the past 30 years, there has been little to no change at all in the wage gap and pay disparity still affects to this day. The reality is that pay equality serves everyone’s bottom line, makes for a better business, economy, work output, and morale, and ultimately eradicates what, in reality, is wage theft that has been going on for decades. It’s the 21st century, yet we are still getting paid like it’s 1960. Add that on top of all the other archaic barriers put on women by men that continue setting us back. We refuse to lose another cent.
We partnered with Indeed to gather six amazing jefas to discuss and take action on ending the pay disparity that affects 27.9 million mujeres in the U.S. alone. Learn four ways to address the pay disparity in your life, and join the ‘Latinas Own the Table’, virtual conversation next month to hear from Latinas advocating for themselves and the community.
Because when one grows, we all grow.
Step 1: Find the person who will advocate for you and pass it on.
MSNBC air reporter and author of “The Other: How to Own Your Power at Work as a Woman of Color” Daniela Pierre-Bravo, credits having other women at the top advocating for her and her hard work for her career today and knows how to pass it down to the rest of her community.
“It was really Mika Brzezinski who was able to carve a place on the show for me. I had the opportunity to work on our book ‘Earn It!‘ with her in 2019, which really changed the course of how my career ended up evolving,” says Pierre-Bravo. “It was also a combination of showing what I was capable of doing, even without having the official title. I’m in a fortunate position of being a storyteller, and telling the story of Latino entrepreneurs – really focusing on their narrative, not just their founder story, but the real work they’re doing. I think about the 2 million Latina founders in this country, yet a lot of them hit a glass ceiling when it comes to investments, and how much money they make. The more we tell these stories, the more we give to our community.”
Advocacy has a ripple effect not only for employees and the community they represent, but it also helps companies’ bottom line. As Judith Gil, Senior Specialist of Learning & Development at Indeed shared with us, equal pay aligns with companies having the best candidates at their firms.
“Large companies, think of UPS, Uber, hospitals, retail food industry – all of those industries largely have Latine people. Oftentimes, employers are not trying to cultivate conversation where they have to pay more than they absolutely want or need to. For us at Indeed, it became more about advocating for if you want the best candidates, you need to put forth your best offer. Working with employers at first was very much about the benefits of having to equal the quality that you want in that candidate, and being an advocate for the jobseeker by collaborating with the employer.”
Step 2: Mentorship will give you a road map to walk the path revealed to you.
However, opening the path for someone without the proper mentorship is all for naught, and it comes down to us looking out for each other as a community.
“Mentorship is for self-advocacy as well, making sure that they know their worth,” says Sonia Smith-Kang, founder of Mixed Up Clothing, who offers mentorship to up-and-coming Black and Brown designers. “It’s important for me to help set up their goals, so they can have opportunities to maintain and reach them. It’s also about networking, collaborating, and joining groups like #WeAllGrow. It’s about, ‘hey, I see that you do this. This is me. How about we collaborate and share?’ That has helped me achieve some of the goals that I have for myself and for my business. There’s the personal goals, but then there’s also this collective goal that also gets to be met, and that’s by helping others achieve whatever it means to them to be successful.”
Step 3: To advance as a community, transparency is key.
Cindy Lone, founder of Latinas at Work, has done the work to talk about pay transparency and encourage her community of 6,000 Latinas and WoC to advocate for themselves in the workplace. However, she found herself on the receiving end and had one of her colleagues advocate for her by being transparent about pay.
“Transparency is key. As Latinas, we don’t talk about money, even though we hold the wallet. Being okay with sharing your number and sharing your information, or having honest conversations with family members about what your goals are financially, is important. Being able to do that with colleagues outside the community is important too. Someone told me they hired a coach, and they knew I was a coach. So they said, ‘hey, just so you know, I’m going to give you this data point – I paid them x-thousand dollars.’ I was like, wow, maybe that’s useful for me. Maybe not now, but in the future to better understand how to price my services.”
Mabel Frías, the founder of Luna Magic, knows that as a founder herself, she has the responsibility and duty to use her position of owning the table to help her community grow and avoid gatekeeping by any means.
“I feel fortunate to have been on many sides of the table to understand that change is not overnight,” says Frías. “I leverage my voice as a brand founder, my experiences climbing the corporate ladder, and my understanding of common concerns of my community to introduce new perspectives to others, with whom this may be a new conversation due to the lack of access that people like myself have in key rooms.”
Step 4: Use compelling facts to advocate for yourself and make your work work for you.
“I share the specifics,” says Patricia Mota, CEO and President of HACE, who’s recently spoken at the United Nations Economic Forum in Davos and the Global Women’s Forum in Iceland. “[As of 2022],Latinos are leading the way for a community with a $2.84 trillion GDP. In terms of GDP, that would be the fifth-largest country with a 1.8 trillion purchasing power, and Latinas are leading the way in making decisions for their households.”
Even with this impactful purchasing power that keeps our economy moving, it’s hard to negate that it’s beyond frustrating that we still have to plead our case that we are worthy of equal pay because we are “the other.”
Daniela Pierre-Bravo took advice from Anjali Sud, Vimeo‘s youngest CEO, who has battled bias in a male-dominated field as a woman of color. “[Anjali Sud] said, ‘anytime there is bias, that bias comes from subjectivity. So I bring it back to the objective, the hard evidence you cannot dispute.’ And it has always stuck with me. That is the message for a lot of folks, not just immigrants, undocumented people, or DACA recipients, but women of color who have had to battle with this even more”, said Pierre-Bravo. “And it’s standing in your truths, and constantly going back to your voice.”
By putting these four steps into play, we’re no longer playing nice and assimilating to spaces just to ask for a seat at the table – we’re showing up for ourselves authentically and demanding the whole table that is rightfully ours.
Watch the replay of our 2022 Latinas Own The Table with six amazing Jefas to unlock your professional potential and not only have a seat at the table but own the damn thing too!
About the Author
Priscilla Castro is #WeAllGrow’s Director of Digital Content & Partnerships. You can connect with her on LinkedIn and follow her at @kodeofkondukt. Read more of Priscilla’s pieces here.