PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) — Among women of all races, Hispanic and Hispanic women are the most underpaid. It’s an important point to address today: Latina Equal Pay Day.
But for Jessica DeJesus, every day is equal pay day.
“We just can’t make enough money,” she said of the struggle Latina women face in the workforce.
Correcting this disparity is now part of her mission as she serves as President of Philadelphia’s chapter of Prospanica, a nonprofit organization focused on empowering and developing Hispanic professionals.
“We empower Hispanic professionals to fulfill their educational, economic and social potential,” said DeJesus.
It’s a long road for Hispanic and Latino women. Nationally, they make just 54 cents for every dollar a white man makes. That is why December 8th is Latina Equal Pay Day because a Latina woman must work all of 2021 and through December 8th of this year to earn what a white man earned through December 31st last year .
“We’re only making up for what they were paid for 12 months ago,” DeJesus said. “It is so unfair.”
The typical woman in Philadelphia who had an income in 2021 made $28,283. One man made $34,967 in the same time. That’s a 24% difference. And for Hispanic women, it’s even more.
“We just expect that we just don’t get paid that high,” DeJesus said. “And it’s sad.”
DeJesus says decades of systemic racism play a role, along with employers only placing Latinas in certain jobs.
“We’re being overlooked for higher positions,” she said. “We mainly fill positions that are front-line positions like hospitality.”
These types of jobs have been a huge hit during the pandemic.
“Our Latina women have given up positions to take care of their families because they can’t afford to work and still take care of their families,” DeJesus said, “or have positions like the frontline positions.” Latinas freed from their jobs.”
Economic conditions pushed back Latina Equal Pay Day from October 2021 to December 2022 – showing how much harder it is for Latinas to catch up now. But Prospanica has ideas on how to create a level playing field.
“We demand transparency from organizations to disclose how much Latinas are paid,” she said, adding that Prospanica members often encourage Latina women to negotiate their salaries and wages.
Prospanica hopes to help more Hispanic women make progress in the pursuit of equal pay.
“I think it’s important that employers value the skills that these Latina women bring to the table,” DeJesus said.
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https://6abc.com/latina-equal-pay-day-workforce-income-hispanic-women-philadelphia-prospanica/12546046/ On Latina Equal Pay Day, wage gap persists