AARP Eye Center
Victoria Walker did not mince words. The journalist interrupted her vacation several months ago to jump on Twitter and offer advice to anyone interested in her former job as a travel writer: “You should ask for no less than $115K, a signing bonus and a relocation bonus if you’re moving to NYC. In full transparency, I was at 107k. I believe being transparent is one way to achieve equity in media,” she wrote.
Until recently, discussing salaries was taboo. But women are increasingly demanding their right to equal pay for equal work, from the Oscars stage to the courtroom.
AARP Membership — $12 for your first year when you sign up for Automatic Renewal
Get instant access to members-only products and hundreds of discounts, a free second membership, and a subscription to AARP The Magazine.
There has been progress, but the gender pay gap remains. In the United States, women make an average of 83 cents for every dollar paid to men, according to the latest data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
This gap is even wider when race and ethnicity are factored in, and Latina workers bear the brunt of the disparity. For every dollar made by non-Hispanic white men, Latina women are paid 55 to 57 cents, compared to 67 cents for non-Hispanic Black women and 83 cents for non-Hispanic white women, according to the data.
But even with the deck so stacked against them, women have tools at their disposal to help them secure equal pay. Organizations and companies have taken note as well.
What should you know about the pay gap?
The path to an equitable future
The next Hispanic Leadership Summit will bring together renowned labor union leader Dolores Huerta, former Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt, and a group of congresswomen to discuss best practices for closing the pay gap.
This gathering, to be held at United Nations headquarters in New York City on Dec.7-8, will coincide with Latina Equal Pay Day. Sponsored in part by AARP, it is aimed at proposing specific, coordinated actions to map out a path toward economic equity. The agenda also features the presentation of an app and an educational campaign, which, according to Romo Edelman, are part of a toolbox that will include tips on how to negotiate fair pay and highlight your accomplishments, along with other useful information.
Claudia Romo Edelman, founder of the We Are All Human Foundation, says we must start with the basics: recognize the problem and its nuances.
“We Latinos don’t even realize what a huge problem we have with low pay,” the equity advocate told AARP from New York City. “We need to call more attention to the problem. Make it a bigger issue for the community and for workers.”
According to the data, the more education Latinas have and the higher up the corporate ladder they rise, the wider their pay gap. A Census Bureau survey in 2021 found that Latina women in managerial positions make $58,596 per year on average, compared to $91,465 for their non-Hispanic white counterparts. This 36 percent gap is less pronounced at lower-level jobs, narrowing to 15 percent for Latinas employed as teachers or cashiers.
This need to shine a light on the issue led to the launching of Latina Equal Pay Day, which falls on Dec. 8 this year. According to Romo Edelman, the observation will help identify solutions and map out a common path toward closing the pay gap. The date symbolically marks how long it would take a Latina to make the same amount of money as a non-Hispanic white man. In other words, a Latina woman who is paid about 57 percent as much as a non-Hispanic white man has to work for 23 months to make what that non-Hispanic white male counterpart makes in one year for the same work.