Half a century has passed since President Kennedy first signed the Equal Pay Act with the intention of abolishing wage disparities based on sex. And though the pay gap between the sexes has narrowed over the last five decades, it’s done so by only 18 cents. “The gap in wages has moved at a snail’s pace—shrinking only 18 cents in five decades and remaining stagnant for the last decade,” shares NWLC Co-President Marcia D. Greenberger.
According to Pat Shiu, director of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs at the Labor Department, Latinas have fared even worse. “When it comes to the pay gap for Latinas, it’s 55 cents and that means it’s taken this long to get where other women were 50 years ago,” says Shiu.
A new study by the National Women’s Law Center reveals that the average gender wage gap in states with minimum wages above the federally mandated $7.25 per hour is smaller than the pay gap in states where the minimum wage meets the $7.25 criteria. Shiu suggests that raising minimum wage will help fill the pay gap for Latinas and greatly impact the economic well-being of Latino families.
According to NBC Latino:
Over the course of the year, the average woman working full time, year-round will lose $17,249 due to the pay gap, says Shiu. For Latinas that total lost wages is even higher, with the average full time Hispanic woman losing an estimated $23,298. According to Shiu, over a lifetime Hispanic women will likely lose out on a whopping $854,000. At a time when moms are the top breadwinners in 4 out of 10 households, the loss of thousands of dollars each year for Hispanic women impacts more than just the women, but Latino families, argues Shiu.
Several Latino legislators have come out in support of the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would have closed loopholes in the Equal Pay Act. A vote was blocked in Congress on the act in April. For her part, Shiu continues to advocate for raised minimum wage and equal pay.
To read the entire NBC Latino article sited, visit http://nbclatino.com/2013/06/10/pay-gap-tied-to-minimum-wage-and-latinas-hit-the-hardest-study-says/