December 8, 2022

Contact: Carolina Espinoza |

“It will take almost 200 years for Latinas to achieve pay equity. This pace is glacial, and untenable. We must actively work to address structural and systemic barriers to achieving parity. Latinas and their families can’t afford to wait two centuries to close the pay gap.”

Statement from C. Nicole Mason, President and CEO of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research

Washington, D.C. – December 8 is Latina Equal Pay Day. It marks the fact that Latinas in the U.S. must work 23 months to earn what White men earned in just 12 months in the previous year. This means $38,684 less on average in just one year, and more than $1 million in earnings when estimating the pay gap over their careers.

IWPR’s new research shows that if progress continues at the same rate as it has since 1985, it will take until almost another200 years – until 2210 – for Hispanic or Latina women to reach pay equity with White men.

Among all women, the pay gap is highest among Native American and Latina women. For Black women it will take over 100 years – until 2144. For White women, it will take another 44 years, until 2066; for Asian women it will take another 24 years to reach pay equity with White men, and for all women with earnings compared to all men, it will take another 40 years, according to new research by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research.

For Latina women, the pay gap can be attributed to occupational segregation, labor market discrimination, and caretaking responsibilities that might force them to off-ramp their careers. During the Pandemic, Latina women exited the workforce at nearly three times the rate of White women and more than four times the rate of Black women.

According to IWPR analysis of 2017-2021 American Community Survey data, in 30 U.S. states, Latina women earned less than 50 cents on the dollar compared to White, non-Hispanic men; in the ‘worst’ state, New Jersey, just 39.1 cent on the dollar. In only 2 states–Maine (66.6 cents on the dollar) and Hawaii (66.6 cents)—Latinas earned more than .60 cents on the dollar compared to white non-Hispanic men; neither state has a large Latina population.

When focusing only on Latinas who work full-time year-round, earning inequities do not disappear. In 2021, the median annual earnings for Hispanic or Latina women working full-time year-round were just 57.1 percent of White men’s, and, at $39,511, would leave a parent with two children near-poverty, even after a full year of full-time work.

To close the pay gap for Latina women, we can start by ensuring the systemic barriers to pay equality for women of color are adequately addressed. These barriers include the concentration of Latinas in lower-wage jobs; gender and racial stereotypes in the workplace and in society; and pay secrecy. They also include quality jobs with benefits- such maternity and other paid family leave and earned sick time- and substantial investments in a childcare and other care services that ensure that workers in those sectors earn decent wages, and that families are no longer pushed out of paid work by lack of affordable quality care.