By: Salina Madrid
A report released by the Texas Women’s Foundation highlights many areas of gender disparities in the workforce, but one that stood out was poverty levels in El Paso.
“We found that El Paso just really lags behind in the wages that we pay all individuals, and women even more so,” said Leila Melendez, the Chief Operating Officer at Workforce Solutions Borderplex.
The report shows that in El Paso, 20.4% of women live in poverty, making it one of the highest poverty rates in the state of Texas.
The average poverty rate in the Lone Star state is about 5% lower than El Paso’s, at 14.5%.
Melendez says not only does she feel these poverty levels lag behind because of pay, but because she believes women don’t always speak up for what they deserve.
“We’re very grateful for the opportunities we have and historically we don’t want to come across as ungrateful or greedy, so we tend to not ask for what we think we deserve. But then we need to know what we deserve, these are two different things. So that’s what we do here at Workforce Solutions Borderplex, is share this information, so people can have a better conversation about pay with their employers,” said Melendez.
When it comes to health insurance, the report shows that 71.8% of El Paso women are insured, compared to 77.6% in the state of Texas and 89.2% in the country.
Melendez tells me if you are unsure of what your pay should be and if you feel you’re being underpaid, to reach out to Workforce Solutions Borderplex at 915-887-2600.