April 20, 2023

By Latinas, For Latinas: Chicago Trio’s New App Hopes Close The Latina Pay Gap

SHENIX® founders speaking at launch event

SHENIX® is an innovative fintech company built by Latinas/x, for Latinas/x, to close the wealth gap by providing culturally relevant financial services.

Created by Chicago-based entrepreneurs Olga Camargo, Juan Carlos Avila, and Patricia Mota, the web-based app provides financial education, career planning, and salary negotiation resources through a unique digital experience that prioritizes the Latina cultural mindset. 

After selecting the investment services they need, users are prompted to answer a short survey about their financial and career goals. Immediately after the survey, users get a customized budget recommendation and the option to be matched with an English and Spanish-speaking financial advisor and/or career coach.

The Latina Pay Gap

For every dollar paid to non-Hispanic white men, Latina women working full-time, year-round are paid 57 cents, according to the AAUW. For part-time, seasonal, and other non-full-time workers, the pay gap is even wider, as they are paid 54 cents for every dollar paid to non-Hispanic white men.

The pay gap persists at every level of educational attainment, and, according to founder and CEO of Justice for Migrant Women Monica Ramirez, it is even wider for Latinas born outside the US.

During the pandemic, millions of women were forced out of the workforce due to layoffs and increased caregiving demands, with many women of color sustaining the greatest economic losses. This was especially true for women of color. While the gap is closing, at the current rate of change, Latinas won’t achieve equal pay till 2197.

Launching SHENIX

Recognizing the barriers facing Latinas, the SHENIX®’s launch event, which took place earlier this month, detailed the platform’s aim of helping Latinas grow their wealth and expand their financial knowledge.

“The event delivered a better understanding of the career and financial education/resources available to Latinas through SHENIX®,” Camargo, the app’s co-founder and CEO, said in a press statement.

“It also created a new space that allowed Latina leaders to speak candidly about issues pertaining to the pay/wealth divide, lack of financial education, and the systemic barriers that don’t allow them to have a real opportunity to create a financial legacy.”

Image Credit: SHENIX®
Image Credit: Headturn Creative

“We had Latinas representing many industries which included those from the areas of construction architecture, fashion, insurance, financial services, corporate, executives, imports, and merchandise,” she added.

“Those Latinas who attended this event stated it was unique because the information provided was not readily available elsewhere. They also felt that SHENIX® embraced the Latinas’ cultural mindset giving them a sense of belonging and empowerment. Many noted that SHENIX® could make a big difference for Latinas across the country.”

Samara Linton

Community Manager at POCIT | Co-editor of The Colour of Madness: Mental Health and Race in Technicolour (2022), and co-author of Diane Abbott: The Authorised Biography (2020)