The Panel Discussed the Intersectional Impact of Gender and Race on the Wage Gap, Focusing on Experiences of Latina Women
Latest Forum in Series of Regional Forums Addressing Issues of Women's Economic Security and Opportunity in New York
Latina Women in New York Still Only Make 55 Cents for Every Dollar Earned by White Males
Today, on Latina Equal Pay Day, the New York State Council on Women and Girls hosted a panel with women leaders on the pay gap afflicting Latina women in the workplace and explored solutions to expand and extend economic opportunities to all working women. This forum was the latest in a series of regional events held across the state at the direction of Governor Cuomo to develop a comprehensive approach to addressing issues of economic security and opportunity for women.
"From the birth of the women's rights movement in Seneca Falls to the passage of the strongest Paid Family Leave program in the nation, New York has led the way in championing women's rights," Governor Cuomo said. "New York will continue to break down barriers to equality and today's discussion will bring us one step closer to closing the gender pay gap for Latina women once and for all."
"The fact that Latina women earn just 55 cents on the dollar compared to men is a fundamental injustice, and here in New York we are working every day to close the gap and right this wrong," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, who attended today's panel discussion. "This expert panel is an important part of our work to address the insidious discrimination, cultural stereotypes, and societal barriers impacting Latina women in New York. I will continue to fight to elevate diverse voices and experiences, and empower the next generation of women."
"At a time Washington is threatening the rights of women, Governor Cuomo is steadfast in our ongoing fight for women's equality," said Melissa DeRosa, Secretary to the Governor and Chair of the New York State Council on Women and Girls. "These forums help move New York one step closer to closing the gender pay gap for Latina women and build on our work to cement New York's status as a beacon of progress and opportunity."
The panel provided an opportunity to discuss the intersectional impact of gender and race on the wage gap. The conversation focused on the experiences and challenges that Latina women encounter in the workplace, and explored solutions to expanding opportunity and achieving pay equity for Latinas. Today's event was moderated by Shirley Velasquez, Executive Editor of PeopleEnEspanol.com, and featured a diverse panel discussion of prominent Latino women leaders, including:
- Lourdes Zapata, Chief Diversity Officer, Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo
- Carol Robles Roman, Co-President & Chief Executive Officer, ERA Coalition & Fund for Women's Equality
- Jackeline Stewart, Vice President Diversity & Inclusion and Multicultural Communications, Edelman
- Lucia Gomez, Political Director, NYC Central Labor Council AFL-CIO
- Vivian Torres-Suarez, Vice President Care Management, HealthFirst
- Sandra Rivera, Principal, Rivera Law, PLLC
The wage gap Latinas experience is far larger than the wage gap between all women and all men. Overall, women working full-time, year-round in the United States are paid 80 cents for every dollar paid compared to their male counterparts. Earlier this year, a report conducted by New York State on the status of New York women and girls found that a large wage gap between Latina women and white men still remains. Despite New York having the smallest pay gap of any state in the nation, long-standing societal norms have resulted in Latina women earning 55 cents for every dollar white, non-Hispanic males earn. The report concluded that a multi-faceted approach must be taken to close the wage gap by moving women off of the "sticky floor," instead of the conventional approach of solely targeting the glass ceiling.
Governor Cuomo has already set several policies in motion to address economic inequity, including enacting a $15 minimum wage and banning employers, both public and private, from asking for salary history. Today's forum, and regional forums like it across the state, will build on the Governor's previous efforts and develop a holistic approach to closing the gender pay gap and fostering more opportunities for women and girls throughout New York State.
Lourdes Zapata, Chief Diversity Officer, Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo said, "It was an honor to join today's panel discussing differing approaches to closing the gender gap and fostering more opportunities for Latina women in New York State. I want to thank Governor Cuomo for bringing together people from diverse backgrounds to discuss closing the gender gap and for his continued commitment to women's equality."
Shirley Velasquez, Executive Editor of PeopleEnEspanol.com, said, "It was my pleasure to moderate today's panel on the pay gap afflicting Latina women, and to exchange ideas to creating a more accessible economy for Latina women in New York. Thanks to the leadership of Governor Cuomo, Latina women are well on our way to equal access to New York's economy."
Carol Robles Roman, Co-President & Chief Executive Officer, ERA Coalition & Fund for Women's Equality said, "It is shameful that Latina women continue to earn just 55 cents on the dollar compared to white men. And among immigrants, Latina are paid $.37 for every dollar made by white non-Hispanic men. We have advocate for the equal rights amendment and pay equity laws to end this shameful sex discrimination. I applaud Governor Cuomo's national leadership in ending systemic inequality, and for continuing to fight on behalf of Latina women."
Jackeline Stewart, Vice President Diversity & Inclusion and Multicultural Communications, Edelman said, "It is well past time that Latinas receive equal pay in this country and this state, as there is still an enormous wage gap between Latina women and white males. I commend Governor Cuomo for taking action to eradicate this wage gap to create a more equal New York for all."
Lucia Gomez, Political Director, NYC Central Labor Council AFL-CIO said, "For far too long, Latina women have been underpaid, undervalued, and subject to low-wage jobs. Today's forum was a positive step toward breaking down barriers and erasing the long-persisting wage gap that Latina women have faced for decades. I thank Governor Cuomo and Lieutenant Governor Hochul for putting this event together, and for their commitment to closing the wage gap in New York and around the country."
Vivian Torres-Suarez, Vice President Care Management, HealthFirst said, "Today's forum provided an incredible opportunity for women leaders to explore constructive solutions to creating a fairer more equal New York for Latina women. It is reassuring that we have a partner and an advocate in Governor Cuomo, who has made women's equality a priority. I thank the Governor for the opportunity to share ideas and solutions to the gender pay gap and look forward to shaping New York's future with him."
Sandra Rivera, Principal, Rivera Law, PLLC said, "While New York has led the nation in fighting for women's equality, too often Latina women face barriers to equality in today's society. I applaud Governor Cuomo for making Latina women a priority and for his continued dedication to our community."
Governor Cuomo established the New York State Council on Women and Girls in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the women's suffrage movement in 2017. The council provides coordinated responses to issues that particularly impact the lives of women and girls in the State of New York.
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