“Not only are Latinas women — of course that constitutes the overall gender gap — but we’re also minorities, and we’re also seen as foreigners, or not in place,” she said.
Dimate said xenophobia can be a barrier for Latinas in entering the workforce.
“You see Latinas – who may or may not have immigrated from other places – and they’re not seen as people who are supposed to be part of the working community, so they’re seen as people who are taking other people’s jobs,” she said.
Dimate said Latinas are often stuck in jobs that pay under the table because they lack documentation. This accounts for the large pay gap because it means Latinas are not entitled to legal fair wages or benefits like social security.
“A lot of Latinas, before there was higher education provided or it was easy enough for Latina women to go to UNC or other campuses like this, they did service work," she said. "They were housekeepers, nannies or whatnot. It’s very hard to track how they are paid because it’s under the table.”
Dimate cited gender dynamics both outside and within the Latinx community as reasons that Latinas do not as often work in high-paying fields and jobs.
“I think one of the biggest reasons that guides (Latinas) not to be in competitive fields is because of this machismo trend that they can’t do it because it’s just a male-dominated force, and that discourages women,” she said.
Dimate said CHispA will hold a round-table discussion Nov. 30 about the gender dynamics of being Latinx in a college environment and at UNC specifically.
“At our next GBC, our General Body Caucus, which is a more discussion-based gathering, we are going to talk about being men and women at UNC and being men and women generally in a Latinx community and what that has to do with our sense of identity and how that shapes us,” she said.
In addition to attending CHispA events, Dimate advised that for people looking to change the Latina pay gap for the better, supporting legislation is key.
Getting women involved in policy pertaining to Latina economic justice is one of the main goals of Thursday's Latina Equal Pay Day summit. One of the main campaigns that will be promoted at the summit is the Trabajadoras movement — which aims to empower Latina workers in all sectors of the workforce, focusing on Latina union work. It aims to accomplish this through grassroots mobilization, research and education, according to the LCLAA's website.
There will be a "Twitter storm" for the event from 2 p.m. until 3 p.m. using the hashtags #LatinaEqualPayDay and #trabajadoras. The goal is to flood Twitter feeds with information from the event.
Mónica Ramírez, the organizer of the summit, said she hopes people will realize the movement is not limited to the summit.
"It is an ongoing effort for equal pay for Latinas," she said.