“If we wait for the wage gap to close itself, Hispanic women will have to endure more than two more centuries of pay inequality.”
By Lydia O’Connor
The Huffington Post, Latino Voices, November 1, 2016 —
Latinas will have to wait more than two centuries for the appalling wage gap they face to close, if current trends continue.
They’re on course to eventually earn the same pay as white men currently enjoy in 232 years’ time ― 2248, according to a report released ahead of Latina Equal Pay Day on Tuesday. The date recognizes how far into the year full-time, year-round employed Latinas must work to earn what their white male counterparts earned the year prior.
To put the Institute for Women’s Policy Research report examining salaries from the past 30 years into perspective, that’s just eight years shy of the number of years the United States has been a country.
“If we wait for the wage gap to close itself, Hispanic women will have to endure more than two more centuries of pay inequality,” economist and IWPR president Heidi Hartmann said with the release of the report. “That’s certainly much too long to ask of them and the families who rely on their earnings to make ends meet.”
By comparison, white women can expect to see equal pay with white men by 2056, the IWRP noted. Black women are forecast to hit the milestone in 2124.
While the wage gap plagues American women of all races, Latinas are hit the hardest of any ethnic subgroup, research shows. Over the course of a 40-year career, a Latina can expect to earn $1,043,800 less than white men, according to a report the National Women’s Law Center released last month. By comparison, women overall will lose out on $430,480 as compared to men, according to NWLC data released in April.
Based on data in the NWLC’s October report, Latinas on average earn less than half of white men earn in a year in several states, including Rhode Island, Illinois, Washington, Massachusetts, Texas, Connecticut, Maryland, California and New Jersey. The same can only be said of black women in one state (Louisiana) and of Native American women in one state (Delaware.) There are no states where men, on average, earn twice as much as Asian-American or white women.
Perhaps the most disheartening data from the IWRP report shows that real median annual earnings for full-time, year-round employed Latinas has only increased in California, Iowa, Nevada, New Mexico, Wyoming and Washington D.C. between 2004 and 2014. Across all states, those earnings have gone down 4.5 percent ― nearly three times greater than earnings decreases experienced by women overall.