Latina Equal Pay Day is on Dec. 8, and to commemorate this important day, #WeAllGrow Latina partnered with Indeed to bring the issue to the forefront and create lasting change. "Our partnership with Indeed focuses on supporting Latinas in the workplace," says Vanessa Santos Fein, co-CEO of #WeAllGrow Latina. Through a virtual panel that took place on Tuesday, Dec. 6, Santos Fein explains how thought leaders and economy builders came together to share actionable tips on how one can grow in their career, negotiate for better wages, and address the ways that Latinas can position themselves to own the table.
#WeAllGrow Latina has become a disruptor since it launched in 2010. Through partnerships like the one with Indeed, the organization continues to be present in making Latina equal pay a top priority. For #WeAllGrow Latina founder Ana Flores, this mission is personal. "When I launched the company in 2010, there was no way I could have envisioned what it is today," Flores says. "It started out as Latina Bloggers Connect, the first network in the world dedicated to connecting Latina bloggers and creators with brands, what we now know as influencer marketing."
Flores loved being a blogger and recognized the limitless possibilities in the digital world. "I saw a space with no gatekeepers," she recalls. "A space where Latina women's voices could be democratized and our stories could be heard by and for us." While her ideas were overflowing with potential, the reality was that Flores had no funding to really get them off the ground. She was recovering from the recession at the time and was also raising a small child. Still, the inspiration Flores felt from the community of Latina bloggers she had built was the fuel she needed to continue moving forward.
"I decided to go all in with no funds other than freelance gigs I would take on the side," she says. "With that, I created a blog on my own, had a friend help me with a logo, and launched Latina Bloggers Connect with a Google form inviting Latina influencers to sign up if they wanted to work with brands. "My promise was that I would find that work for us and that together we would figure it out. And I ended it with what is now our motto and our name: 'When one grows, we all grow".
#WeAllGrow Latina is now the biggest digital and IRL lifestyle community for Latinas and femme Latines. In the last decade, #WeAllGrow Latina has evolved into an immense source of inspiration and a resource-sharing community for Latina entrepreneurs and small-business owners. Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, the organization found a way to stand strong despite having to cancel their flagship annual three-day #WeAllGrow Summit thanks to the free Amigas membership platform and app they launched the year prior.
"We were able to receive both the PPP and the EIDL loans from the SBA. That allowed us to make the refunds [to attendees and sponsors] and stay open long enough to be able to pivot our offerings into unique custom digital campaigns for brands that were eager to connect with Latinas online," Flores says.
"We now have close to 20,000 Amigas members and were able to bring back the Summit for 2022 and sell it out within three hours," she adds. "I've learned to face any obstacle by doing the work to tap into my inner guidance and trust it so much that it fuels the courage needed to take the action grounded in ease, patience, and grace."
While there is so much to celebrate with the consistent growth of #WeAllGrow Latina, there is still a lot of work to be done to ensure Latinas are being equally paid and own the table, which is why it continues to be top of mind for the organization. Latina Equal Pay Day marks how far into the new year the average Latina woman must work to match what her white non-Hispanic male counterparts made the year before. A Latina would have to work until she is approximately 90 to make the same amount of money a white non-Hispanic man would have made by the time he is 60.
More than 50 years after the passage of the Equal Pay Act of 1963, full-time, year-round, and part-time Latina worker, who reported earnings earn only 54 cents for every dollar earned by white non-Hispanic men. Full-time year-round Latina workers who reported earnings only earn 57 cents to the dollar. This means that Latina women must work 21 months to make a white man's yearly earnings.
However, a recent report states that US Hispanics are a driver of the US economy. Furthermore, Latinas are the primary drivers of the Hispanic purchasing power, making the majority of buying decisions for the household. So, while they are spending the most, they are making the least in pay.
"Latinas are drivers of the US economy and hold immense purchasing power yet are consistently being left out of the conversation as it relates to our financial wealth, which is why it's important for us to raise awareness of the inequities."
"Latinas are drivers of the US economy and hold immense purchasing power yet are consistently being left out of the conversation as it relates to our financial wealth, which is why it's important for us to raise awareness of the inequities," Santos Fein says.
"We know that we are givers, we know how to equitably share the wealth, and in doing so, it will positively impact the US economy," she adds. "When Latinas earn more, we spend more, and that ripple effect is unmeasurable. But if Latinas earn less, yet we still have to spend more for our daily necessities, our country will continue to be at a disadvantage."
As Flores and Santos Fein know all too well, making real change in the world doesn't happen overnight. These Latinas are in it for the long run and are creating a legacy of changemakers along the way.
"Twelve years later, #WeAllGrow Latina is still 100 percent Latina owned and operated and has evolved into a community-driven platform that provides Latinas and femme Latines access to resources and connections for professional and personal growth," Flores says proudly. "Our mission of elevating the voices and stories of Latinas to fuel their power continues to be our driving force."