Gina Rodriguez wants Latinos to understand that unity can truly pay off.
The “Jane the Virgin” star spoke to Latina magazine in honor of Equal Pay Day on Tuesday. During the interview, Rodriguez discussed the wage gap and how Latinos should work together to close it.
Latinas receive 54 cents for every dollar their white male counterparts are paid, according to a report by National Partnership for Women and Families released Monday.
Rodriguez, who partnered with the nutritional bar company LUNA to bring awareness to the wage gap, described her own personal realizations about gender inequality in compensation and explained that Latinos need to stand in solidarity with the women in their community to succeed.
“I feel like culturally, Latinos are so used to uplifting our men — but we are domesticated that way,” she told Latina magazine. “It’s like: I got my dad’s back. Oh yeah, my brother wants this. I got you! You know what I’m saying? My man? Oh, I got my man like a rock. And we have yet to learn how important it is for us to support other women, and how we are stronger in numbers.”
“These are all very central things in my life,” she continued. “These are the things that are important to me, to create unity and equality ... When two [people] have the same merit for a job, they should get paid the same. I don’t care what gender, what race, what culture you are. And if we don’t have the conversation, then change never happens.”
The 32-year-old star spoke about her partnership with LUNA and delved further into her feelings about the wage gap during an interview with Glamour magazine, also published Tuesday.
“It’s exciting to be a part of it because [fighting for equal pay] scared me at one point,” she said. “But I knew it was a conversation that was needed. My parents raised me to go after what I wanted, to work hard, to be good to others, and to keep my integrity. I feel extremely [lucky], but at the same time, I’m deserving of equality when it comes to how hard I work. I believe that equality stands on merit, not on gender.”