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The Three Core Initiatives in Closing the Pay Gap


There’s been a focused effort on diversity and inclusion over the past year and a half, as a result of heightened awareness around systemic racism. One of the areas workplaces have needed to address is the pay gap, specifically when it comes to women, minorities and especially women of color.

More than 50 years after the Equal Pay Act of 1963, Latina women still earn around 55 cents to every dollar earned by white, non-Hispanic men and must work nearly 23 months to earn what white men earn in 12 months. And they aren’t the only community facing these challenges…

How do we change for future generations so that these one-sided perspectives are not as ingrained in our workplaces as they are today? 

Luminary recently hosted Worth the Whole Dollar: Latina Equal Pay Day and Beyond. During this session, Maribel Lara, SVP, Head of Consulting at The Sasha Group a VaynerX company moderated a topic on wage transparency, inclusive policies, and how to avoid those non-productive practices when advocating for yourself. Ramona Ortega, Founder of My Money, My Future, Melissa Hotzoglou, Executive Director at JP Morgan Chase, and Misty Gaither, Senior Director, Global Head of Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging at Indeed, each shared how they’re ensuring Latina women earn what they are worth by advocating for themselves and their peers.

These are the three core initiatives that will help not only close the pay gap, but to win back the power of your future and make change happen for others.

1.  Mastering Negotiation

“Because if we don't address it early in our careers, the gap just continues to widen all the way into retirement.” - Maribel Lara, SVP, Head of Consulting at The Sasha Group a VaynerX company

The most powerful skill set to learn and master is negotiation. Like Ramona mentioned during this conversation, it’s like a muscle you have to continue to train and build up. The more practice you have negotiating, the better and more powerful you become in using your voice to construct a proposal nobody can refuse.

Negotiation is always on the table. Knowing the data prior to your meeting is going to set you apart from others and ultimately help with your proposed number. Take the time and do the research.

“Get comfortable actually demanding your worth and don't feel guilty for ensuring that people know what you're bringing to the table when you ask for more money.” - Misty Gaither, Senior Director, Global Head of Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging at Indeed

2.  Knowing Your Value and Worth

“Women do so many extracurricular activities. There's so much additional value that we bring and beyond.” - Melissa Hotzoglou, Executive Director at JP Morgan Chase

Being able to provide clear and factual information based on your key performance indicators (KPI’s) both professionally and personally brings more value to your business and overall accomplishments as an employee. 

For the entrepreneurs who are tirelessly pitching their products and/or services to whomever will listen, put a price on your time. Your time is just as valuable as what you’re selling. Being realistic with potential clients is only going to benefit every party involved when setting goals and expectations.

“For the small business owners, negotiating your value and a number that's attached to that value is going to be key in almost everything you do.” - Ramona Ortega, Founder of My Money, My Future

3.  Salary Transparency With Others

“If we really want to change systematically then it can't be one by one. It's got to be all of us having and utilizing that voice.” - Cate Luzio, Founder and CEO, Luminary

To understand where you stack up against co-workers on your same level, it’s necessary to respectfully and openly discuss salaries and be transparent with colleagues. How will others know what to negotiate for their next promotion if they’re uninformed of the numerical worth of that position?

Even as Latina women have entered the workforce in record numbers, they still face the largest wage gaps among women. By negotiating a fair wage, requesting transparency among colleagues and owning their value and their worth to the company, they can continue to overcome the obstacles that remain.