New research from the University of Massachusetts Boston on workers in Massachusetts finds that while a gender wage gap exists across all occupations for women, the gap becomes a chasm for Hispanic women, especially for low-wage workers. Here are some facts from the research:
- White women make 83 percent of what white men make in the same occupations.
- Hispanic women make 56 percent of their male equivalents.
- Latinas who work as cleaners make 54 cents on the dollar compared to all male janitors and 59 cents compared to their Hispanic male counterparts.
- Familismo—valuing close family relations
- Simpatía—avoiding conflict and disharmony
- Colectivismo—putting the needs of the group before those of individuals
- Personalismo—forging meaningful and trusting relationships
- El presente—being in the here and now
- Respeto—respecting authority, age, and power
- Machismo-marianismo—strongly differentiated gender roles
- Espiritualismo—trusting in a higher power/being
What Employers Can Do to Close the Wage Gap and Value Latinas in Their WorkforceWith these new wage-gap statistics and Holvino’s research in mind, here are some suggestions for employers:
- To begin with, employers can look closely for pay disparities by occupation in their organizations and make adjustments in pay to close the gaps. Pay disparities are often invisible and unscrutinized and reflect unconscious bias.
- Employers should become familiar with the cultural scripts, or cultural assumptions, that guide hiring and promotion decisions in their organizations. For example, the dominant criteria for leadership in Anglo culture, which focuses on valuing individual achievement and a direct communication style, runs counter to strengths in Latina culture.
- Employers can become familiar with Latina cultural scripts and develop appreciation for the value they can add.
- Employers can expand their definitions of leadership to include strengths in Latina cultural scripts, such as building relationships.