Latina Equal Pay Day is November 20, 2019. This day represents the date Latinas will “catch up” to the earnings of a White male in 2018. It takes 1 year, 11 months, and 20 days for Latinas to make the same amount! One way to close this gap is asking for a raise.
I have negotiated my pay only twice in my life. The first time, I knew not to answer the question, “What do you expect to be paid?” Well, at least not to answer with a dollar amount. Unfortunately for me, I didn’t know the next step in that process. After several back-and-forth statements, that negotiation stalled out and I finally gave in with a dollar amount. The second time, I had to present my request to a panel including my manager, supervisor, and one of the company owners. As the only Latina interior designer on that team, I felt intimated. However, I knew I had a strong proposal and did my best. That presentation really took a lot out of me, I remember feeling exhausted afterwards. The result wasn’t a monetary increase. Instead, I was allowed to go on a couple of company trips to flooring manufacturers. I remember feeling unsure whether I had accomplished my goal. Did I succeed? Did I fail? With only these two experiences, I know I’ll need help when I have to negotiate a salary in the future. I’m happy to get some help on this and share it with you.
Lean in Latinas is a part of the Lean In Network. On November 16, 2019 they held their 4th Annual Lean in Latinas conference, Take Charge! We started with a discussion of the study, Women in the Workplace by McKinsey & Company which points out the biggest obstacle in advancement is the broken rung between entry level and management. We dove into the possible reasons for this and the widening Latina pay gap. Then we discussed our action steps and how to negotiate our salary!
First, Latinas must acknowledge and be familiar with the pay gap. We have to empower ourselves because not only are many Americans unaware but “hiring managers are similarly unaware,” according to Lean In reports. Now that’s scary! Second, did you know that managing people and projects are building blocks to promotion and pay increases? Latinas must volunteer for (or create) these opportunities in their workplace. Third, ask for that raise!
Three ways to set yourself up for success
- What is the measure of success? Each job has expectations which can be met and exceeded. Know what these are for your company and keep track! For example, if you are expected to meet a productivity standard, you will want to show how you’ve exceeded this standard. If it’s expected that you participate in a team environment, you’ll want to keep track of what you’ve done to improve the team’s efficiency for example.
- Timing is important When hired, instead of waiting for a one year review, ask for a 6 month review suggests Samantha Hobart, Certified Financial Planner with Morgan Stanley. Traditionally, salary negotiations happen during an annual review however, you can create more opportunities throughout your employment by requesting a career development meeting.
- Have a strategy The goal is a pay increase. Know your target salary, your walk away point, and additional benefits to ask for. A benefit could be increased vacation time, telecommute options, or flextime. Your strategy
Ways to close the Latina Pay Gap
Search “Latina Equal Pay” or “Latina Pay Gap” and you’ll find lots of information on this topic. Awareness is an important step because we have to understand the data and the seriousness of the outcome should we continue to be ignorant. There are several events on November 20, 2019 to discuss this with leaders in our Latina community.
Have you asked for a raise?
What was your experience asking for a raise? Do you have more tips to help others? Do you have questions and need help? Let’s talk about it!