MAKERS@Home with Mónica Ramírez for Latina Equal Pay Day

"Not only are we #NOTDONE, but we're not putting up with it anymore." Mónica Ramírez imparts us with words of empowerment as we recognize #LatinaEqualPayDay and quickly approach #ElectionDay. MAKERS Founder Dyllan McGee and Ramírez give us a jolt of energy as they remind us that our voices matter and that we hold the power to create real change. #MAKERSatHome

Video Transcript



DYLLAN MCGEE: Oh, look at you! You look gorgeous!

MONICA RAMIREZ: Oh, thank you. It's so wonderful to see you. And I know we have a big topic to talk about today. But I want to congratulate you because this is a huge week for you, and your movie, and for all of us. I had people texting me-- my cousin told me she got a hand cramp because she was watching "Not Done" on her phone to try to make sure that she could see it. I mean, just what a wonderful week for you. And thank you.

DYLLAN MCGEE: Well, I mean, the name of the film is "Not Done", right, Mónica?

MONICA RAMIREZ: We are not done!

DYLLAN MCGEE: We are so not done! But before we get to why we're not done, and our specific topic today-- I do just-- thank you for calling that out. Women supporting women. Thank you for everything that you're doing. You took time to do some PR for us, you sat down. And really, the feedback that we're getting, so much of it is about your story and you.

So we are lucky that women like Mónica are in this world and pushing things forward. Because we're not done! OK!

MONICA RAMIREZ: We're not done. OK!

DYLLAN MCGEE: So-- I mean, we're really not done. $0.55 on the dollar. Like--

MONICA RAMIREZ: Yeah. Dyllan, you know, $0.55 to the dollar for Latinas, on average. But I just always feel like, when I start this conversation, I have to underscore that that is average and that there are Latinas who make far less than that. And there are other women workers who make far less than that. So today is Latina Equal Pay Day. We observe the fact that Latinas have now worked an additional almost 10 months-- so total of 22 months-- to earn what white, male, non-Hispanic workers were paid in just 12.

Which is enraging that that is the situation. And we know that for immigrant Latinas, the pay gap is wider. We know that specific groups of Latinas, like Honduran women, the pay gap is, on average, about $0.41 to the dollar. So today is a day that we are marking. And we are making clear to people that not only are we not done, we're not putting up with it anymore.


MONICA RAMIREZ: That's also the message we're sending.

DYLLAN MCGEE: And we at MAKERS Women are not putting up with it anymore. And that's where it does feel like-- because, Mónica, you and I probably had this conversation this time last year, and the year before. I mean, it isn't changing. Right? Is that the reality?

MONICA RAMIREZ: Yeah. You know, if you were to look at the data, going back to the late '80s--


MONICA RAMIREZ: --we have actually, since about 1989 until today, we've only closed the pay gap for Latinas by $0.03. And when you look at what's happening right now with the COVID prices, it's really terrifying. Because Latina workers have been one of the hardest-hit demographics by the COVID crisis.

But also, as a result of the COVID crisis, we're seeing more Latinas than any other working group of people leaving the workforce. And so I sit here terrified thinking about, what is next year's pay gap going to look like?

DYLLAN MCGEE: Right. Well that's what's so scary and, also, equally maddening. Because here, so many people have the luxury of, a pandemic happens and we get to put our family first. Right? Yet, these Latina women are frontline workers out there who are equally, if not more, having to take care of loved ones themselves. And don't have the luxury or privilege of being able to make their family and their lives a priority. They're out there working for us.

MONICA RAMIREZ: That's right. Yeah. I feel like, you know, every year when I come to this point of planning this campaign, I'm always really mad that we have to plan this campaign. But I have to tell you that, this year, my heart's really heavy thinking about all of the workers, the frontline workers, who continue to work as this pandemic has gone on-- many of whom have become sick, some of whom have died.

And, you know, Latina workers continued showing up as farm workers, as domestic workers, as grocery workers. And in so many jobs across all industries. And, you know, I'm really worried about the fact that people are starting to forget the amount of sacrifice that certain groups of workers, including Latina workers, have made during this pandemic.

So our job is to talk about this pay gap that hasn't closed over decades and the systemic reasons that why that's the case. But also, this year, as we're thinking about the COVID crisis, really name the fact that there are whole groups of workers, including Latina workers, who've continued to put themselves on the line in order to make sure that the rest of us could continue during this pandemic with, you know, to be honest, I think some of us had lots of stressors related to the pandemic. But our worries were not as many--


MONICA RAMIREZ: --as some people's. You know?

DYLLAN MCGEE: And, so here's the thing, we have to demand more. It is, we have to go beyond ourselves. We have to take any privilege that we've been given and use that privilege for good.

MONICA RAMIREZ: That's right.

DYLLAN MCGEE: And that is what you are all about and that's what you're going to teach us all about. So you have this virtual event, literally in less than, I mean, I feel like it's almost in an hour. Yet you're with us.


DYLLAN MCGEE: OK. So what's happening?


DYLLAN MCGEE: How can we show up at the event? Because we want to get this up to drive--


DYLLAN MCGEE: --viewers to your event.

MONICA RAMIREZ: We actually have-- so The National Twitter Storm, The National Social Media Storm starts at 2:00 PM Eastern. So really, really soon.


MONICA RAMIREZ: And so we need to be amplifying this conversation. We need to be posting about the pay gap. And-- and talking about why it exists, right? The fact that Latina workers don't-- aren't being paid enough. The fact that Latina workers aren't being hired for jobs where they have the opportunity for advancement and growth.

So we have to talk about the issues. The fact that Latinas don't have-- can't rely on fixed schedules. And they don't have the kind of leave that they need. All those things are contributors to this pay gap. So we need to talk about those things--


MONICA RAMIREZ: --on social media.

DYLLAN MCGEE: More talking, OK.

MONICA RAMIREZ: Talk on social media.


MONICA RAMIREZ: Tell your friends, tell everyone. We need-- and then the virtual event.


MONICA RAMIREZ: Which starts at 3:00 PM Eastern.


MONICA RAMIREZ: That is going to be full of conversations about why the gap exists. There will be a segment that's honoring essential workers. And, you know, Tina Tchen from TIME'S UP Now and Stephanie Beatriz are going to be in conversation about what the COVID crisis has meant for Latina workers.

You know, we have conversations about Latinas using our power. Because we are powerful--


MONICA RAMIREZ: --in so many ways. And we want to use our power to change this reality. But we need our allies. So we need our allies to tune in, to learn, to speak out, to understand that this is not only a Latina problem. This is not only a women's problem.

This is a problem that affects all of us. When Latina workers don't get paid what we should be paid, it affects our families, our communities and our entire economy. So we need to be speaking out about this. And then at 4:30--


MONICA RAMIREZ: --on Twitter, we're having a Twitter talk from 4:30 to 5:00 with SUMA Wealth and She Se Puede, which is, you know, one of my new organizations I'm working on.

DYLLAN MCGEE: Follow that by the way, @MAKERSwomen, She Se Puede. OK.

MONICA RAMIREZ: Yes. So we are going to have a talk with some Latina business leaders. They're going to be our money mentors. And you're going to be able to ask questions about-- about closing the pay gap, and building wealth, and confronting some money challenges that you might have. And that will be from 4:30 Eastern to 5:00 PM.


MONICA RAMIREZ: During a Twitter talk. But there's just so many ways to engage. And I think that, you know, to the point that I raised earlier, the pay gap is wider for other groups of women. And so after today, we have to keep talking about it. We have to contact our political representatives about it.

We have to vote. We have to vote to make sure that people who care about us and our issues are the ones who are representing us.

DYLLAN MCGEE: And tell us about the Latinx community and this vote, and how important the Latinx community is to this vote.

MONICA RAMIREZ: Yeah. So, you know, there are 32 million estimated Latino, Latinx eligible voters in this election cycle. And, you know, for anyone who says that the Latinx community is not showing up to vote, you're wrong.

We've always shown up and we are definitely showing up this election. And why it matters is because, we understand that our issues and our community very much are on the ballot. We understand that.

And so we need-- but we need to keep reminding people that the election day is not the day that people should be-- it's the last day people should be voting. So we want people to be early voting. We want people to be turning out now and making sure they're getting their ballots in.

We understand the long-- the lines are long, but we're trying to save democracy. And we need to stay in those lines as long as we can. And, you know, to the extent that people need support. There are groups around the country who are organizing to take water and food, and helping with childcare and those sorts of things.

So our vote is really important. We're expected to be one of the second large-- the second largest voting demographic in this election.

DYLLAN MCGEE: Well, and the other thing I heard, Mónica, and I'm sure you've been hearing this too. I was listening to a conversation with Kerry Washington. Is that we have to think about election day, it's actually like election season. And that there may be on election day, you know, there's a huge chance that we won't know the results.


DYLLAN MCGEE: But that we need to demand-- or it may even sound like it's going one way versus the other. But the key is even after election day, that we are all united. One, not on calling the election and two, making sure that we demand that every vote counts.

MONICA RAMIREZ: That's right, yep.

DYLLAN MCGEE: And we are not accepting a winner until every vote is counted.

MONICA RAMIREZ: That's right. And the other thing is, you know, I think that there are a lot of efforts underway for-- around election protection. We want to make sure that everyone can vote. And if people are having trouble, we want people to have the numbers that they can call and to get help.

And, you know, to the point of every vote counting, I know there are folks who are organizing to make sure that they're, you know, making phone calls and, you know, observing. You know, we're have legal observers and all sorts of folks. So there's also many ways in which we can show up for democracy.

And so while our focus has really been talking about the vote, we also need to understand that if we're people who can't vote for whatever reason, there are other ways that we can show up for democracy. And that includes reminding people to vote. That includes being observers at the polls. That includes demanding that every vote be counted.

So we each have a role in this. And we should all make sure that we take it seriously and act on it.

DYLLAN MCGEE: Yes. OK. So this is going to be the fastest live I've ever done. Because all I want to do is get you to your event, get this up and remind everyone.

OK. So we're going to talk. We're going to speak out. We're going to demand more. We are not going to rest until this changes. Because it's not right.

Because there are people, like you, Mónica, who have been fighting for decades this work. And we want to show up. I want to show up for you.


DYLLAN MCGEE: So thank you for all you're doing. Everybody, please, join Twitter, join this virtual event in literally an hour. Mónica--

MONICA RAMIREZ: It's in an hour. Yep and we--

DYLLAN MCGEE: Thank you. And last, I know everyone's feeling heavy-hearted. But is there any little glimmer of hope that you're feeling that you can lead-- leave us with?

MONICA RAMIREZ: We are the hope. Everyone who's watching, you are the hope. And the fact that we just-- we keep tuning in, we keep supporting each other. We're lifting up. We're making clear that we're not done.

As Dyllan has taught us, you know, we are not done and we're not giving up. And we are creating the world of our dreams every single day. And all the work that we're putting into it, every single thing we're doing, whether it's showing up on social media, or at marches, or just speaking out, it all matters. And cumulatively, it all makes a difference.

So you are the hope. And we are going to keep pushing forward. And we are winning and don't forget it.

DYLLAN MCGEE: We are winning. All right, Mónica. I love you. Go get 'em.

MONICA RAMIREZ: I love you too. Thank you. Take care.


MONICA RAMIREZ: Thank you, everyone. Bye.

DYLLAN MCGEE: Good luck.