Presidential Candidates Call Out 'Shameful' Wage Gap For Latinas

Democrats Julián Castro, Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris and more raised awareness for Latina Equal Pay Day.

A slew of Democratic candidates for president drew attention on Twitter to Latina Equal Pay Day on Wednesday ― a day that marks how far into the year Latina women on average have to work in order to earn what their white, male counterparts earned the previous year.

Women who work full time, year-round in the United States were paid only 82 cents for every dollar paid to their male counterparts in 2018, according the National Women’s Law Center. For women of color, the wage gap is even wider, with Black women making 62 cents, Native women 57 cents and Latina women 54 cents for every dollar paid to white men.

These wage gap figures are not broken down by job or industry, as it is meant to reflect the multiple barriers women face to equal pay, not only including lower pay for performing the same job as men, but also the underrepresentation of women in higher-paying jobs, bias against women who have to care for children or family and a lack of workplace policies to support them.

While Equal Pay Day for women broadly is commemorated on April 10, Latina Equal Pay Day is Nov. 20. 

Many Democratic hopefuls took to Twitter Wednesday to call out the “shameful,” per Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), and “outrageous,” per Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), status quo of Latina women getting paid almost half as much as white men on average.

Former Obama Housing Secretary Julián Castro nodded to his hard-working mother, adding: “Millions of Latinas are doing the same, working hard, and still only making 54 cents for every dollar made by a white man.”

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) called out her “equal pay plan,” which would ensure “corporations will pay women fairly — or pay the price.” Harris’ sweeping proposal, released in May, would require companies to prove that their pay practices are fair or face fines. 

And Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) released her message in English and Spanish, saying in the latter (translated by HuffPost): “From raising the federal minimum wage to combating systemic discrimination and protecting the right of Latina women to unionize, I’m ready to fight from day one to close the wage gap.”