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October 21 2021, is Latina Equal Pay Day when Latinas finally “catch up” to the salaries of comparable jobs held by white men from the year before. This is a confusing notion that takes some explaining. As noted by Equal Pay Today, Latinas earn 57 cents for every dollar earned by white men and must work nearly 11 extra months to earn what white men earn in 12 months. To further clarify, data that tracks salary figures confirms that what an average white man earns in one year, a similarly situated Latina will earn in almost two years resulting in a total lifetime loss of earnings that could reach over a million dollars

This extreme wage gap makes Latinas the lowest-paid group of any female demographic.

Because this wage disparity has persisted for decades, there are organizations trying to maximize how wealth is managed and how it’s obtained. My Money My Future is a financial tech company founded by Ramona Ortega whose content is tailored for young women and minorities managing their money. The company helps Black and Latinx learn how to save, invest, and build their wealth. 

The wage gap that Latinas experience will require more than just tips on how to be smart with money; after all, you can’t be smart with something you have less of, however financial smarts, strategies, and wealth-building resources is a part of the solution equation and organizations like My Money My Future are an integral part of that solution.

These topics can help make some headway into the wage gap problem: 

Investing 

Ortega is a personal finance expert who advocates for everyone to understand the fundamentals of investing and learn strategies to help grow their income. “Women of color cannot afford not to invest; we have to work 2x as hard to make our money grow,” says Ortega. Investing in your future doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive, and tips that are easy to understand can be found at My Money My Wealth and other credible sources for Latinas like Suma, a Latinx digital wealth-building platform

Negotiating Salary

Latinas work hard and are over-represented in many high-labor industries, but many women aren’t taught to negotiate for higher wages. The harsh reality is that Latinas are either afraid to sound too demanding and believe doing so will cause risk in losing their job or opportunity or aren’t aware of how to go about negotiating their pay. Conversations about negotiating your salary are readily found with a quick internet search. It may not feel comfortable to negotiate, but data tells us that it works. Author Linda Babcock did a well-known study for her book “Women Don’t Ask” that showed that about 7% of women tried negotiating their first salary but for men, that number shot up to 57%. Those who chose to negotiate increased their salary by over 7%.

Accessibility 

Marginalized communities have less access to tools and resources for entrepreneurs of color. Latinx women and Black women are launching small businesses and rates higher than their white counterparts, but there isn’t enough support. Challenges are often attributed to the lack of access to professional networks which is where Latinx Startup Alliance comes in. The group’s goal is to bring Latinx entrepreneurs and mentors together so that those entrepreneurs have opportunities they might not have otherwise had access to on their own. 

Investing in self-development and making personal changes to improve structural imbalances is one step of many for closing the wage gap. The more comfortable Latinas are with taking charge of their finances and making decisions, the more results will be seen as a whole as more and more women decide that they can and will demand their whole dollar. 


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