When you hear Equal Pay Day, you might think, "Wait—doesn't that fall sometime in the Spring?"
The date, which changes each year, symbolizes how far into the following year women need to work to earn what men did in the previous one (this year’s Equal Pay Day was April 2).
But, there’s a problem: This date doesn’t accurately represent how severe the wage gap is for women of different races. For some, it can take several extra months to catch up to their white, cis-male counterparts. And of all groups, one still lags noticeably far behind: Latinas.
Today, November 20th, marks Latina Equal Pay Day, which means that, on average, Latina workers had to put in almost eleven extra months of labor in order to catch up to what the average white cis-man made in 2018. Let that sink in for a moment.
The reality is, the state of inequity in the workforce is still severe. In fact, this year’s Latina Equal Pay Day is later than last year’s; not only are things not improving, they’re getting worse. On average, Native American women earn 58 cents and Black women earn 61 cents when compared to the white, cis-man's dollar. But, today, Latinas earn a mere 54 cents on the dollar in comparison. To put this number into perspective, Latina's are missing out on over $1 million in lost wages over the course of a 40-year career. That's simply not okay.
In order to make substantive changes to this frightening status quo, there is a lot required not just from policy makers, but also from employers, coworkers, and allies. There’s also another, simple way that people like you and me can put our money where our mouth is: By financially supporting Latina-owned small businesses.
Being a Latina founder or small business owner comes with a litany of challenges—from representation, to access to capital, and so much more—so this holiday season, instead of buying gifts from a department store or Amazon, consider giving your dollars to Latinas and helping shift the distribution of wealth.
Here are 5 Latina-owned businesses to check out while doing your holiday shopping this year.