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Race & Social Justice

Latina Equal Pay Day is a reminder that Latina paychecks fall far bellow their male counterparts

Working Latina women earn 57 cents for every dollar earned by their white male counterparts. That statistic comes from MANA de San Diego, a local branch of a national organization working to empower Latinas. A Latina woman has to work 21 months to earn the same as a white man’s annual salary in the same job, the organization said.

On Thursday, MANA and other groups marked Latina Equal Pay Day with the help of local leaders including San Diego County Board of Supervisors Vice Chair Nora Vargas.

“There is no economy without Latinas … and we’re not going anywhere!” Vargas told those gathered at the County Administration Building. She said policy makers have a responsibility to create change, “because based on the current rate of progress Latinas are not going to reach equal pay with non-Latino men for another 200 years.”

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Vargas cited some projections from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, saying that by 2028 Latinas will hold 21% of the labor force.

“Employers, corporations, and executives cannot continue to turn a blind eye to this issue, and to our community,” she said.

The pay disparity can add up over a career, according to MANA, to more than a million dollars.

San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria told attendees that men have an important role to play in this issue. He pledged to make the city’s workforce more equitable, and challenged every employer in San Diego to do the same.

“Look inside your organization to understand how the national pay disparity’s affecting your employees,” he said, “and then pledge to take action within your own organization to model the behavior that we must model if we’re going to address this issue and to put it to bed at last.”