Today, November 20, 2019, is Latina Equal Pay Day, a day that symbolically marks the amount of time into the next year a Latina needs to work on average to earn what a white man was paid in the previous 12 months. This amounts to 23 months for Latinas, who make just 54.5 cents for every dollar earned by white men.
This year SurveyMonkey continued our partnership with LeanIn.Org to explore public awareness of the gap, examine possible causes, and learn what people think companies, the government, and individuals can do to ultimately reduce the gap.
We’ve learned that awareness of the pay gap remains low, with 31 percent of Americans unaware of the pay gap between Latinas and white men, nearly identical to the 30 percent in 2018. Awareness of the gap between Latinas and white women is even lower—nearly half (47%) of Americans are unaware of this gap.
What’s behind the pay gap for Latinas?
When people do know about the gap, what do they think is the root cause? As it turns out--several indicators of prejudice. Similar to years’ past, Americans cite sexism (35%), racism (34%), and unconscious bias (32%) as major reasons for the pay gap between Latinas and white men. When we sort the data by gender, women selected “prejudice against immigrants” as the third most cited (34%) reason.
As if that were not enough, over two-thirds (68%) of Americans point to sexual harassment as a factor (either major or minor) in perpetuating the gap for Latinas. Previous survey findings have also shown this trend, where nearly one in four Latinas (23%) said they’ve quit their job because of sexual harassment they’ve experience at their workplace (compared to just 3% of white men have quit for the same reason).
What can be done to minimize the gap?
People want organizations to actively participate in reducing this systemic problem. Earlier this year, we asked about the role of government and companies in addressing the pay gap. Fully 74 percent of Latinas want the government to do more about it, and 85 percent think companies should be doing more to narrow this gap.
When thinking about how institutions can have an impact, some of the most highly cited things that companies can do were related to allowing for flexibility and transparency. For Latinas specifically, “Creating flexible workplace policies so that parents can balance work and family demands” was the top potential solution (35%). Over a third of Americans overall believe leadership trainings and increasing wage transparency would be effective ways to provide opportunities to help women and men advance equally. To learn more about what companies can do, visit: https://leanin.org/what-companies-can-do-about-equal-pay.
In our most recent survey, we learned that when it comes to fighting the pay gap on a personal level, Americans tended to say they “vote[d] for political candidates who take a stand on equal pay” (32%) the most. In addition to taking action at the ballot box, 24 percent also say they have encouraged women to negotiate their pay and mentored and/or promoted women into leadership roles (17%) to help narrow the gap for women.
Closing the gender pay gap is a critical step toward creating better, more equal workplaces for all of us. In the words of actress, businesswoman, and activist, Eva Longoria, who wrote an op-ed in CNBC about our latest data:
“It’s time to start compensating and supporting all employees fairly so we can stop making November a stark reminder of the barriers between Latinas and equality, and focus on what it really ought to be: a time for giving thanks for our families, our culture, our community, and our country.” - Eva Longoria
Click through the results from this year's survey below: