That's right, the year is almost over, and yet Latinx women with the same credentials, skills, and accomplishments are still working to catch up to the pay their white, male peers earned in 2017. They'll finally cross that line on November 1st.
For Black women, that day was back in August. And as I shared then, I believe there are some things individuals can do about it:
1. Build your own awareness. Are you a feminist? Many people of color have expressed exhaustion that the feminist movement fails to recognize how issues of inequity for women are compounded for women of color, people with disabilities, and people with other identities that regularly face discrimination. Take this opportunity to learn about how much harder women of color have to work even than their white women peers. The Women's Foundation of Colorado is one place to find some more quality information.
2. If you are in a position of power in your organization, it's time to get transparent about pay. Only when we can see the disparity will we be able to change it. You'll be joining companies like Whole Foods, tech startup "Buffer" which shares it's salaries publicly in a Google spreadsheet, and of course, the US government, where the pay gap for all women is less than half the national average (see? it makes a difference!). For companies ready to move toward equity
but needing something to ease the transition, try a tiered system like the US government or go for partial transparency with ranges for each position.
3. Understand your personal biases by testing them, then create a collection of "primers," or example images, videos, and stories of people who defy your bias. Bring these out before you make decisions that affect people and research suggests you'll be less likely to lean on your biases and make fairer decisions.
4. Ask for or join an employee resource group (ERG) to create power in numbers. For information about how to ask for an ERG, see this getting started guide: here (Human Rights Campaign). Or join an external community like CoDiv if ERGs aren't available in your organization.
5. Support legislation that aims for equity in the workplace like pay transparency and family leave insurance, two issues raised in Colorado in 2018 and likely to come back in 2019.
Do you have an experience related to pay disparity? I would love to hear your story. Share in the comments or reach out directly to firstname.lastname@example.org.