Eva Longoria Speaks Out on Latina Equal Pay Day 'We Are Worth the Whole Dollar'


Today is Latina Equal Pay Day. It’s been 50 years since the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and to this day women on average earn 80 cents for every $1 earned by men when it comes to women of color the disparity in the wage gap is even more stark. Latinas earn 54 cents for every dollar paid to white non-Hispanic men.

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Latina Equal Pay Day is in November because it takes Latina workers more than 22 months to be paid what white men make in only 12 months, meaning it would take until today for Latinas to earn what an average U.S. white man made in 2016. Essentially Latinas lose over $1,000,000 or more over a 40-year career. 

In order to bring a call to action women highlight Equal Pay Days throughout the year. Asian-American Women’s Equal Pay Day in March, all women’s Equal Pay Day in April, African American Women’s Equal Pay Day in July, Native American Women’s Equal Pay Day in September. The last Equal Pay Day observed of the year is for Latina workers.

Eva Longoria tells Fortune this is “ like working an entire week but only getting paid through Wednesday afternoon. At this rate, to earn what white men earn by age 60, Latina women would have to work until they’re 90.” 

MORE: 8 Latinas Who Support Equal Pay

In an interview with HuffPost, Monica Ramirez, award-winning civil rights attorney, says, “the pay gap for Latinas who are immigrants is actually much greater, earning as little as 35 cents to the dollar.”

So what can be done about this? Eva Longoria says it’s important for their to be a cultural shift in the workplace. We must “create work environments where women are represented and respected. What does gender inequality look like on a day-to-day basis? In some cases, it’s subtle (like always being the only female voice in the meeting); other times, it’s over (like sexual harassment). I work in a male-dominated industry and have often been that sole female voice in the room. Of the 1,000 biggest commercial movies in the last 10 years, women have directed 4% of them. This absence of women in executive positions in entertainment inspired me to get behind the camera and produce and direct.”

PLUS: Gina Rodriguez Explains Why Her Career Isn't About the Money

Jackie Cruz could not agree more. In an article for Lenny Letter she says, “that's why I started my own production company, Unspoken Productions, which aims to increase equality and opportunities for women in Hollywood by creatively exploring what it means to be a Latina in all of its complexity, in all of its nuances, in all of its power! I'm tired of us Latinas being ignored. I'm over the pay gap. I'm done with being underrepresented. And I'm ready to do something about it, from Hollywood to Washington, D.C. I hope you'll join me.”