December 8, 2022

EWNJ’s Statement on Latina Equal Pay Day

Today, December 8th is Latina Equal Pay Day, which spotlights the alarming fact that Latinas must work nearly 24 months to earn the equivalent of what white men earn in 12— representing one of the widest pay gap of any female demographic. The wage gap facing Latinas worsened from 2021 to 2022, but even more distressing is that it only increased by 2 pennies to 54 cents since 1989, when Latinas earned $0.52 on every dollar. As Latinas enter the workforce in record numbers, reaching 12 million in 2021, the persistent and increasing wage gap is becoming a greater risk to the economy. Additionally, the wage gap perpetuates an already skewed generational wealth gap that, if eliminated, will help working Latinas, particularly first-generation Latinas, build a lasting legacy for themselves and their families.

At Executive Women of New Jersey, we champion equal access and pay for women ascending the corporate ladder because women are good for business — their presence leads to improved corporate governance and higher profit margins. Additionally, lack of representation and inadequate pay fuel imposter syndrome that ultimately limits women from their full potential. Sadly, our research, as outlined in our biennial 2021 A Seat at the Table Report on gender and racial diversity, shows that, despite some progress, women continue to be underrepresented relative to their male counterparts on boards and in senior corporate governance. Therefore hiring committees need to be more intentional in choosing people of color, especially women of color, for leadership roles and offering equitable financial compensation.

We must do better! Companies across the country need to dismantle internal structures that perpetuate unequal wages. Representation is more than a quota—it’s good for everyone’s bottom line.