If you have been reading the headlines in every major outlet the social order and Apocalypse is upon us because Married Women Who Make More than their Husbands! Cue the dramatic music and bring on the horsemen! What nobody is talking about what that means for Latinas. ¡Qué sorpresa! So here is the skinny on how we are living as women in the U.S. according to Pew.
First up the not surprising:
Never married mothers are disproportionally racial and ethnic minorities. As of 2011, about 40% of never married mothers were black (compared with 12% of all mothers), 24% were Hispanic (compared with 19% of all mothers), and 32% were white (compared with 60% of all).
As you get in to the weeds of the report, suddenly Pew stops parsing out by ethnicity on how the overall attitudes on women in the workplace. So when they said:
The public has mixed views about the changing role of women in the workplace and the impact this has had on family life. Today women make up almost half of the U.S. labor force, and in 2012 nearly as many working-aged women (68%) as men (79%) were in the labor force.6 Most Americans applaud these trends, and very few would favor a return to more traditional gender roles. In a 2012 Pew Research survey, only 18% of all adults agreed that “women should return to their traditional roles in society.” Fully eight-in-ten adults (79%) rejected this idea.7
Does that include Latino families? Do we accept that women are a part of the workplace? Or is it an economic need that drives us to work? How do we accept the dual role of mothers as professionals? Cue the crickets!
We are included in the comparison of married mothers and there is a surprise. We are as Latino couples earning on par to each other. Does that mean our families needs are being met because two people are working? Or is it that our salaries are lower than the national average? In 2012 the median household income for Hispanics was $38,624. Add some kids and remittances there is not too much to go around.
I urge Pew Hispanic to do a report on Latinas and our realities. We need to know how we are doing and what cultural changes we are engaging in right now around family, work and marriage.