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Key Career Strategies for Latinas to Accelerate Closing the Pay Gap

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latina-pay gap-advocating-pay

Today, Latinos represent nearly 2 in 10 of every American in the United States, and yet they are only 4% in corporate executive roles.

Patricia Mota

President and CEO, Hispanic Alliance for Career Enhancement (HACE)

By 2050, the Latino workforce will be 1 in every 3 working-age Americans. If we are not accelerating the pipeline of Latino talent into meaningful jobs and positions of influence, we will not keep up with supplying the demand for workforce needs in tech, science, etc.  The future of an impactful and equitable, diverse, and inclusive workforce will not thrive without strategically including Latinos. And we can start by addressing the issues impacting Latinas.  

Latinos encompass $1.84 trillion in purchasing power, 2.8 trillion GDP, and yet according to the American Association of University Women, Latinas  are facing the largest pay gap, a gap that has widened due to the pandemic, earning an average of 49 cents for every dollar earned by white, non-Hispanic men. This means they must work nearly 23 months to earn what white men earn in 12 months.

If we are not equally paying the fastest growing community, we hurt the economy.

While there are many ways employers can act, below are key strategies for Latinas to help close the gap for themselves, their families, and the communities they represent. 

Do your research

It is critical to understand the possible salary for your role, and where you fit in the marketplace based on your value and the industry you are in. If you able to, ask the previous employee in the role or peers what their salary is/was, keeping in mind years of experience, unique skillsets, and industry that may make the salary more or less for you. For example, if you are in a managerial role in government, the government range may be less versus a corporate manager role. Or, if you are bilingual and that adds value to the role, that may mean more. If you are not able to talk to the right people or get insight on the range, there are still other ways to get that information. You can conduct research on or as well as HACE’s career center,   

Leverage resources and programs catered to Latinas

Mujeres de HACE is a women’s leadership program geared to empower high-potential Latinas to thrive personally and professionally. Since 2005, nearly 3,000 women have graduated from this program. HACE has tracked that within 12 months of completing the program, 70% of the graduates have earned an increase in pay along with a promotion. Some of the sessions include personal finance and negotiation. Throughout the year, HACE also hosts negotiation workshops and coaching sessions to support members. SHENIX is a new app being developed to help Latinas build wealth with culturally relevant on-demand tools and bilingual financial advisors right at their fingertips.

Practice actively advocating for yourself

Now that you have done the research and gained tools and resources to gain additional knowledge, the hard part is taking action. We all have that little voice in our heads that sometimes stops us from advocating for ourselves or asking for what we deserve. Trust that you’ve done the work, rely back on the research you’ve done, practice with a mentor or trusted friend, and make the ask.  

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