The gender pay gap affects women across all racial groups and socioeconomic boards. Still, Latinas get hit the hardest.
April 4 is Equal Pay Day. It’s a symbolic day marking how far into the year the average woman has to work in order to catch up to her male co-worker’s salary. But if you’re a Latina, that date gets pushed even further.
To catch up to to a white man’s earning in 2016, Latinas have to work until November 2, despite the fact that they often work twice as hard as their male colleagues.
Closing that wage gap means Latinas and their allies have to speak up, create opportunities for each other and demand what they’re worth. Here are a few of the tips to get started…
1. Get more Latinas through the door.
Seventy-six percent of Human Resources, or HR, managers are women. There’s a heck of a lot of power in that number and a lot of responsibility for the women in those positions. If you work in HR, you already know that you have some say in who your company hires. Look into how often women are being brought in to be seriously considered for lead positions, where they are the decision makers.
Also, do your research. Women are more prone to being called “bossy,” “bitchy” and “ballbusters” by their co-workers and managers than men are. But are they really so bossy and bitchy? And is that a bad thing? We all know that for men, “bossy” often translates to “being a leader.” Women are called bitchy, while men are called “tough” for the same behavior. So start asking yourself and the managers you work with whether the women in your office are being passed up for leadership roles and promotions because they’re actually being too aggressive, or if they’re just not falling to the gender norms expected of women.
Keep your eye out for biases that penalize the women in your office and speak up when you notice something is wrong.
2. Be an actual human bra.
One of the most frustrating things women can experience in the office is being interrupted. Even more frustrating? Having our thoughts and ideas interrupted in meetings, only to be bropriated.
There’s massive power in supporting other women. If you’re in a meeting and hear a female co-worker’s great idea being stolen, help a girl out by speaking up. Of course, calling out “Carl” for repeating another women’s idea in a meeting might not be your ideal way of doing this. Instead, as soon as you hear a woman in a meeting pitch an idea or state something valuable, echo her words and give her credit. If Carl starts to interrupt her, circle back when he’s finished and ask your co-worker to clarify what she was saying. By amplifying each other’s voices, we can ensure that other women are getting their due credit and having their ideas heard.
Also, women are less likely to advocate for themselves in the workforce than their male counterparts. Consider whether or not there’s a women on your team that could use a bit more recognition. If there is, give her some praise. Keeping your manager up to date on the office rockstar could go as far as getting her a promotion or raise.
3. Know your worth.
If you had a mother like mine who always told you to never settle, then hopefully you’ve been heeding her words. When you find yourself in the negotiating process of a new job, be sure to advocate for yourself and do so by knowing your worth. Do your research and make sure that the offer you receive from a company is marked to market, meaning it’s in line with the average rate people are paid in the same position. Sites like Glassdoor, Indeed and Vault are great tools for helping potential employees discover how much they should be getting paid by their company. You should also research cost of living for your city and consider that when you start negotiating.
It’s not easy going back to an employer you hope to work with and telling them that the amount you’re being offered isn’t cutting it. Still, you shouldn’t have to budge on what you know you deserve to be paid. Especially when your male counterparts don’t have to.
Ask for Demand that promotion.
A recent study revealed that 57% of men negotiate their salaries. On the other hand, only 7% of women do so.
Oh, it gets better. When women do ask to negotiate their salaries, they ask for less money than they should be making. Around seven thousand dollars less, in fact. Sharpen up your negotiation skills and start asking for more money every time you enter a new gig. A good rule of thumb for negotiating is to ask for a salary range first. Once you start negotiating with a hiring manger, you’ll often get asked “How much would you like to get paid?”or “What are your salary requirements?”
Instead of telling them that “well, my last job paid me $35,000 a year,” briefly restate your qualifications for the job. Then say, “Given my skills and how they match the requirements, what is the typical salary range for someone in this position?” Once they come back with a figure, offer them a range of your desired salary. If $35,000 is the amount you currently make, consider using that for your lowest salary ask. Then include your reasonable and ideal salary figure. Offering a range means you have room to work with, and it won’t make you feel like you’ve settled for less.
Every new job you take on should feel like an opportunity for you to practice speaking up for yourself and asking for more money. Remember. Never settle. Always negotiate. The worst they can say is no, and then you can decide if that’s an answer you’re okay with. But never be afraid to put your foot down when you know you deserve more.
And especially remember this: men aren’t afraid to go in and ask for a raise, and more often than not they walk out with the salary they asked for. So don’t let fear or the idea that you’ll seem ungrateful stop you.
5. Ask the boys how much they’re getting paid.
Asking someone how much they’re making is a social taboo, and often against company policy. Still, it’s something that also keeps many women from getting what they deserve. There are very few ways of discovering whether or not you’re making less money than your male colleagues. And let’s be real, stealing their paycheck or breaking into their house to find out takes a whole lot of time and risk. Instead, just shake off the awkward feelings you have over the idea and just ask.
Remember! Things like the pink tax exist, which means that it costs more to be a woman, so we literally cannot afford to get paid less.