The Coronavirus pandemic has served as a contrast material in American society, bringing to light the extent of racial and gender disparities in a country that is supposed to lead the democratic world.
These inequalities are so intricate for Latina women that navigating them and surviving the COVID-19 has meant tapping into previously overlooked resources and networks, especially when it comes to economic justice.
Latinas in the U.S. earn 46% less than white men and 31% less than white women, regardless of their education, preparation, or job skills.
According to Lean In, an advocacy organization for women’s empowerment, before the pandemic, for every 100 men promoted to manager, only 85 women were promoted, with Latinas being the least likely to be promoted.
That wage gap means that many cannot save enough to pay a down payment on a home, start a business, or save for retirement. As a result, data shows that single Latinas own only $100 of wealth for every 28,900 single white men.
In its latest report, Women in the Workplace, the organization highlighted the multiple impacts of the pandemic on the lives of Hispanic women, including family dynamics that forced them out of the workforce.
Similarly, according to CDC figures, pregnant Latinas are one of the populations most at risk of contracting the virus.
Many Latinas also own or operate businesses in industries that have been significantly affected by the pandemic, including restaurants, personal care services such as beauty and nail salons, and retail and clothing stores. Many of these businesses have closed.
That’s where the key work of New Economics for Women (NEW) comes in, a non-profit organization led by Latina women and focused on empowering new generations of women and families to thrive.
As NEW explains on its website, its strategy is to “spark economic mobility for women, particularly for Latinas and their families, through wealth creation, housing, education, entrepreneurship, and civic engagement.”
During the COVID pandemic, their work has been more critical than ever.
“We want to ensure that families are able to thrive from generation to generation,” said New Economics for Women co-founder Bea Stotzer to CNBC. “You cannot do that unless you leave a legacy of assets. We see homeownership as critical to that.”
“For Latinas especially, they have been impacted by this incredible pandemic to a degree that no one really understands,” Stotzer said.
Through its Women’s Business Center, the organization offers programs, workshops, one-on-one consulting, and lending programs.
The NEW Women’s Business Center provides resources and tools to ensure women entrepreneurs are on the right track for economic independence through small business ownership.
For more information, visit https://www.new-wbc.org/