Are You Worth 54 Cents? On Latina Equal Pay Day Stand Up and Demand Your Worth


Today is Latina Equal Pay Day and that means it’s time to demand our worth. On this day we recognize that we deserve more than .54 cents on the dollar, and we no longer want to be at the bottom of the totem pole.

It’s kind of insane when you see it on the scale: while white males earn the highest salaries, white women earn 80 cents for every dollar, and we’re at the bottom of the barrel. Perhaps this will add more clarity: “In order to earn what a white man earned in 2016, a Latina must work that entire year—plus 10 extra months in 2017,” Eva Longoria writes in Fortune magazine.

That is some kind of bullshit, which is why we must bring awareness to this absurdity and quite frankly injustice. So how do we create change? Longoria says that we must change the way we think about our worth. She calls it a “cultural shift” and says we must see this pay gap as what it is “discrimination.”

She also says that we are part creating that change.

“We must also create work environments where women are represented and respected,” Longoria writes in Fortune. “What does gender inequality look like on a day-to-day basis? In some cases, it’s subtle (like always being the only female voice in the meeting); other times, it’s overt (like sexual harassment). I work in a male-dominated industry and have often been that sole female voice in the room. Of the 1,000 biggest commercial movies in the last 10 years, women have directed 4% of them. This absence of women in executive positions in entertainment inspired me to get behind the camera and produce and direct.”

Monica Ramirez, Deputy Director for the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA), told the Huffington Post that paying Latinas doesn’t just affect their quality of life, but the rest of the community as well, which really is a domino affect. She says Latinas have to keep up with multiple jobs in order to make ends meet. That means they aren’t able to engage in life outside of work.

“They can’t be a part of their neighborhood; they can’t attend the parent-teacher meeting,” Ramirez said. “There are all these side effects of having to have more than one job. And not being able to engage Latina workers in their community to help make changes is very problematic for our democracy.”

Here’s how people are bringing awareness to Latina Equal Pay Day.

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