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What companies can do to close the pay gap for Latinas

Closing the pay gap is the right thing for companies to do, but it’s also the smart thing to do. When employees believe they are rewarded fairly for their work, they are more likely to be happy in their jobs and put in extra effort.1

Five steps your company can take to close the pay gap for Latinas

1. Make hiring and promotions fair

If hiring and promotions are fair, Latinas are more likely to be paid on a par with other groups at their company.
  • Set clear performance evaluation criteria before the hiring and review process begins—and put safeguards in place to be certain they’re applied consistently.
  • Make sure evaluation tools are easy to use and designed to gather objective, measurable input. A rating scale is generally more effective than an open-ended assessment.
  • Require diverse slates of candidates for hiring and promotions at every level.
  • Track outcomes of promotions and new hires by gender and race/ethnicity to ensure that Latinas are being treated fairly.

Did you know?

Only 6 of 329 companies surveyed take all of these key steps. But when they do, employees are more likely to think the system is fair and that the most deserving employees rise to the top.2

2. Put processes in place to ensure that employees doing the same work are being paid the same

Awareness is the first step to solving a problem.
  • Analyze compensation by gender and race/ethnicity so you can see and address pay gaps and ensure that Latinas are being paid fairly. Then make sure you continue to audit compensation data regularly to maintain fairness.
  • Set and publicize a bold goal for equalizing pay at your company. Given how important it is to equalize pay, companies should use targets more aggressively.
  • Be explicit about how your organization determines compensation so employees don’t have to guess what factors are driving their pay.
  • Don’t ask job candidates about their current compensation, which is illegal in some states and can perpetuate pay disparities.

Did you know?

There is compelling evidence that audits work: Three tech giants—Facebook, Intel, and Microsoft—closed their pay gaps by holding regular audits.

3. Train employees to identify and challenge bias

Unconscious bias can play a large role in determining who is hired and promoted 3, which impacts what they are paid.
  • Only a third of employees say managers often challenge biased language and behavior when they see or hear it. Unconscious bias training can equip managers to be part of the solution.4
  • Employees involved in hiring and promotions should receive unconscious bias training to help them make more objective decisions.
  • Lean In’s 50 Ways to Fight Bias program is a card-based activity and video series that highlights 50 specific examples of workplace bias and offers research-backed recommendations for what to do (available at no cost to companies).

Did you know?

90% of employees who participate in Lean In’s 50 Ways program say that after taking part, they know what specific actions they can take when they see gender bias in the workplace.

4. Make it a norm for women to negotiate

Latinas are asking for raises as often as white men—but they get different results because of bias.
  • In general, women are expected to be giving and collaborative, so when they negotiate, they can be viewed unfavorably.
  • Make sure the women in your organization are encouraged to negotiate and are applauded—not penalized—when they do.

Did you know?

Women are now negotiating at the same rates as men, whereas a decade ago men negotiated 2 to 3 times more often than women. However, women who negotiate are more likely than men who negotiate to receive negative feedback that they are “intimidating,” “too aggressive,” or “bossy.”5

5. Provide Latinas with equal support and opportunity for advancement

It’s critical that Latinas get the experience they need to be ready for management roles, as well as opportunities to raise their profile so they get tapped for them.
  • Put more Latinas in line for the first promotion to manager and for the types of high-profile assignments that lead to promotions and raises.
  • Ensure that formal mentorship and sponsorship programs are opening doors for Latinas.
  • Encourage informal interactions between Latinas and more senior colleagues. These types of personal connections can be more effective than formal programs and can propel careers.
  • Track participation in leadership training by gender and race/ethnicity to make sure Latinas are fairly represented.

Did you know?

Latinas are as interested in advancing to the next level as men and ask for promotions at the same rates. However, they are hampered by a “broken rung” on the corporate ladder: For every 100 men promoted to manager, only 68 Latinas are promoted, and this fuels representation gaps further along the pipeline.


  1. David Card, Alexandre Mas, Enrico Moretti, and Emmanuel Saez, “Inequality at Work: The Effect of Peer Salaries on Job Satisfaction,” The American Economic Review 102, no. 6 (2012): 2981–3003.
  2. LeanIn.Org and McKinsey & Company, Women in the Workplace 2019 (October 2019),
  3. LeanIn.Org and McKinsey & Company, Women in the Workplace 2019 (October 2019), p. 18,
  4. Ibid.
  5. LeanIn.Org and McKinsey & Company, Women in the Workplace 2017 (October 2017),