November 1st is Latina Equal Pay Day, which marks how many days into 2016 the average Latina must work to make what a non-Latino male did in 2015. That’s right: Latinas had to work 201 days into this year to be paid as much as white men in 2015.
The California Women’s Law Center firmly believes that all women deserve equal pay. While equal pay is an issue for all women, the wage gap is especially severe for Latinas in California, who bring home just 44 cents for every dollar paid to white men. At a 56-cent differential, California’s Latina wage gap is the largest in the nation.
This wage gap has a serious impact on our economy. In 2015, the U.S. Census Bureau estimated that there were 1,465,353 Latinas working full time in California. The wage gap means that on average each Latina loses $38,926 per year—a total of over $57 billion dollars for Latina workers in California. The effect of the wage gap is even more profound considering that many of these women serve as the primary providers for their families. The wage gap is a large reason why over 40 percent of Latina-headed family households live below the poverty line.
Latina Equal Pay Day is a stark reminder that pay discrimination undermines the economic security of not only Latina women and their families, but our state as a whole.