By Lola Méndez
Dannie Fountain, who has been an account representative at Google in Chicago for three years, claims she received her first promotion recently with a 24% pay increase. “I paid just as much for my college education as the white men who are paid more than me, but I earn less to pay off those student loans,” the 26-year-old claims. “Despite having nearly three college degrees, the perceived value of my education and my work experience still isn’t enough to justify a full dollar.”
The experience Fountain describes is all too familiar as Latinas still face the largest wage gap of any demographic or among women. Although the Equal Pay Act was passed in 1963, Latinas earn only 55 cents for every dollar earned by white non-Latinx men. To raise awareness, Latina Equal Pay Day falls on the date when a Latina’s pay catches up with her white male counterpart’s earnings from the previous year. This year, Latina Equal Pay Day is observed on October 29.
Latinas are projected to endure 200 more years of pay inequality, according to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research. “We can’t afford to wait until 2220 to achieve equal pay. The kind of money that Latinas are being robbed of, one million dollars in her lifetime, would change people’s lives, change communities, and enable families to invest more and grow their wealth that can then be passed to future generations,” says Shannon Williams, Director of Equal Pay Today.