The wage gap for Latinas is reportedly $0.54 to every $1 a white man makes. A number of factors can contribute to this gap; the type of jobs Latina women are working (think housekeeping, nanny, cleaning, and or field workers), immigration status, and cultural expectations are a few. Without federal legislation that requires all employers in the United States to pay equal wages for equal work, it is especially important that Latinx professionals learn how to advocate for the pay they feel they deserve.
Boutique financial businesses and firms often provide helpful advocacy tactics and advice in addition to financial coaching for professionals. In New York City, The Financial Gym is helping Latinas take charge of their financial lives through creating spaces where they can gather and discuss the barriers and knowledge gaps they may have. For Latinos taking charge of their financial lives is especially important considering that by 2020 the buying power of the Hispanic (this is the term they study used) population in the United States is expected to increase to 1.7 Trillion dollars.
Carolina Castro is Latina and a member of the Financial Gym. “I have been a member of The Financial Gym for two years now and I absolutely love it! Most financial services have felt outdated or out of touch for me but The Gym’s approach to financial health has radically changed my view on how to manage my personal finances.” Her experiences with the firm and her passion for community and strategy led her to create the Let’s Talk Pay for Women’s Equal Pay event.
“Culturally [as Latinos], we aren’t taught to talk about money, let alone how to negotiate for more pay. We need to change this, and we need more mentors and peers who are talking about money and encouraging us to ask for more. This is why I wanted to create an event for Latinas to come together to talk pay, financial goals, know our worth, and become better negotiators.”
Without the ‘know how’ of negotiating for more pay and managing finances Hispanics unfortunately stand the opportunity to lose out on the economic power they will have come 2020.
Four helpful negotiation tips:
Take a negotiating class to learn how to negotiate for what you know you deserve. Looking at the negotiating class as an investment opportunity in your future is a great way to get you motivated to take one.
Having conversations with your friends about pay. People have been told that speaking about pay and rates is rude and or intrusive. However, without having these conversations in spaces you trust you cannot establish a baseline for your position or business rates. Knowing what the market says helps you negotiate better.
Never take the first offer. “Often times as Latinos we will get an offer letter from a job and see that we would already be making more than our parents and think that’s more than enough money however, we later find out it wasn’t.” shared one speaker. In short, never feel bad for making more money than your parents and never settle because of that guilt.
Have a list of the things you are willing to negotiate for. If the rate of pay is truly unable to be moved in a more favorable position you can negotiate for other things. Asking for more paid time off, vacation time, working from home for some days, and or a technology budget can help offset lower wages while still working at a job you really want.
While people continue to advocate for federal equal pay policies these few tips can help you get started on getting the employment and pay packages you deserve. (If you are in New York City you can save up to 20% off your monthly Financial Gym membership by mentioning “Lean In New Jersey” on your introductory call.)
People loved the event! Castro received feedback that for some of the women in the space it was their first time openly talking about numbers and sharing their financial struggle stories. She hopes to host another similar event in the future but right now she is working on two New York City based events that Latinas can take advantage of; Startup Weekend Women NYC, where you’ll have a chance to kick start a new business idea in collaboration with like-minded women. The other is on Latinas Equal Pay, November 20. You can connect with Castro and learn more about all her impactful and important work via her LinkedIn page.