Unseen Latinas Initiative

Invisible No More


In October 2020, after months of disproportionate economic distress on Latinas in California caused by the pandemic, the California Latino Legislative Caucus launched a new two-year Unseen Latinas Initiative to address the continued and growing inequality Latinas experience in economic outcomes, career and leadership opportunities, and education in the state. 


This effort is being coordinated by Chair of the Latino Caucus, Senator María Elena Durazo (D-Los Angeles); Senator Lena Gonzalez (D-Long Beach); Assemblywoman Luz Rivas (D-Arelta); and Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego), who will lead the State Assembly’s new Select Committee on Latina Inequities


The Unseen Latinas Initiative highlights what has become a growing problem in California, long before coronavirus. From the hotel housekeeper in San Diego, to the student in the Central Valley, to the executive in Silicon Valley, Latinas have been passed over and have fallen even further behind as other demographic groups continue to make gains in the state. For example, California has the country’s lowest gender wage gap yet Latinas in the state suffer from the worst pay disparity in the United States—earning on average just 42 cents for every dollar earned by non-Hispanic white men. 


A new report released by the non-profit organization Hispanas Organized for Political Equality (HOPE) shows that historic inequities facing California Latinas have worsened in the pandemic. In the first months of California’s economic shutdown, 30 percent of Latinas in the state lost their jobs. The Unseen Latinas Initiative will bring together educational and economic experts and Latinas working in a range of California industries to understand the problem that currently exists and eventually work toward intentional and targeted solutions.


Nearly 20% of all Californians are Latina, or 1 in 5 people. The economic success of the entire state depends on prioritizing the success of Latinas.