Women today only earn about 77 percent of their male co-workers for the same work. This pay gap has received a great deal of national focus, and it is worse for African-American and Latina women.
African-American women earn 64 cents and Latina women earn 56 cents for every dollar earned by a Caucasian man in the workforce, according to statistics cited by the White House. This should not be an issue for women anymore as this is the 21st century.
Women have come a long way from the 1950s, when they were expected by society to be a stay at home mom or cook and clean, but women today now make up half of the workforce. Sarah Shipley with Shipley Communications says the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) would have helped.
“If the ERA would have been passed in the ‘70s we wouldn’t be here today fighting for equal pay and equal rights, but unfortunately that is not the case,” Shipley says. “And now we have to fight for equal rights and equal pay on an individual basis.”
Sarah goes on to express her opinion on equal pay.
“I think it is ridiculous that with the same education, same skills sets get paid less because they’re women,” she says.
The Equal Pay Act of 1963, which requires men and women in the same workforce to be given equal pay for equal work, has done little to remedy the problem. The law requires companies to base salaries on experience and knowledge, but a gender pay gap still occurs today.
According to a 2014 American Association of University Women (AAUW) report, there is evidence that discrimination contributes between men and women in the workplace. Shipley believes that this issue may be because women do not speak up.
“I am trying to train them to be more responsive because their male counterparts will say ‘Oh, I’ve been here a year; I deserve a raise,’” she says “Well no one deserves anything, but the females just don’t do that, so I train them to be more aggressive in the work place.”
Women’s rights are now getting around Hollywood, with this issue being a top issue of discussion at the 87th Oscars.
There was a Twitter campaign about the disparity in the types of questions on the red carpet for the women nominees and Best Supporting Actress winner, Patricia Arquette, speech on pay equality for women.
The Twitter campaign was brought up by Reese Witherspoon and other celebrities to use the #AskHerMore, so reporters would ask women more rather than the standard “who are you wearing?” question, to prove that women are more than just their dresses.
After the success of the #AskHerMore campaign on Twitter, celebrities took it a step forward by asking women if they will run for office to make equal rights for women happen. The #AskHerMore campaign turned into women saying we need more women in office and to step out of the house and into the house – and senate.
Arquette’s Oscar speech was the most talked about speech the next day because instead of giving thanks she instead touched based on pay equality for women.
“To every woman who gave birth, to every taxpayer and citizen of this nation, we have fought for everybody else’s equal rights. It’s our time to have wage equality once and for all and equal rights for women in the United States of America,” Arquette said.
It is important to push for new legislation that would make the workplace for women fair. The Paycheck Fairness Act bill is an important tool that if it passes in congress, it will ensure full compensation for victims of gender-based pay discrimination. The Equal Opportunity Restoration Act (EEORA) is another bill that addresses employment discrimination by removing the barriers that the Supreme Court erected in Walmart v. Dukes to employees’ rights to bring class action suits under antidiscrimination law.
Hillary Clinton is running for president for the 2016 presidential election, and Clinton has been a longtime advocate of equal pay for women as a U.S. senator. Full time female and male staffers from her senate office and three political committees are making dollar for dollar, according to the review of internal salary information.
This data spans from 2002 to 2008 which covers every fiscal year of Clinton’s tenure as the junior senator from New York and part time staffers were not included in the data. During the seven years, women made more on average for Clinton making $56,000 while men made about $52,000, according to the data. Even on Clinton’s pay roll, there were more women on staff then men.
Clinton spoke at a Silicon Valley women’s conference which she spoke about a call to action to close the wage gap. Clinton spoke about how 60 percent of women now make up college graduates, but only 18 percent of women earn computer science degrees. Clinton states that because of this fact, women are going backwards in a field that is supposed to be all about going forward.
Clinton, also while speaking at the Silicon Valley women’s conference, made comment on Patricia Arquette’s Oscar speech.
She stated how right Arquette is and that it is time to have wage equality once and for all, according to the Huffington Post.
The result is a shortage on American women and also on their families.
According to whitehouse.org, Obama’s State of the Union address discussed the issue that equal pay is also a family issue because women make up half of the workforce, which means when women do not get paid fairly, their families suffer as well.
The pay gap between women and men has barely budged and because of this women need the Paycheck Fairness Act which would close loopholes in the Equal Pay Act and allow women to find out if they are being discriminated against. This year is shaping to be the year for women and women’s issues and it will be awesome to watch how women’s leadership develops over the next 12 months.