In the year 2014, President Obama and the Democratic Party are working together to eliminate the gender-wage gap. The Women Employed organization, or “WE,” has dedicated itself to stop discrimination and insure wage equality and fairness at work for over 40 years.
WE has worked with national coalitions to promote their vision that “all women are treated fairly in the workplace, are able to attain the skills they need for the jobs they want, and are respected for the work they do.”
This organization has opened opportunities for women to work in organizations that were once male dominated. A Pew Research study done in 2013, shows that both men and women see a need to stop gender discrimination. 72 percent of women and 61 percent of men in the United States admitted that they believe gender discrimination in the workplace is wrong and needs to be remedied.
Still full time working women earn 77 percent of what their male counterparts earn. This shows that>women have to work about 60 extra days to earn what a man did at the end of a previous year. Yet, for younger women, the wage gap is a bit smaller because they have not taken much work off during their short time in the professional workforce.
Why is this still happening in our country?
- Women are more likely to take career interruptions to care for their children or families.
- 4 in 10 women who are mothers have taken a significant amount of time off from work, or reduced the amount of work hours, to care for a child or family member.
- Fewer men than women take off time to care for children/families.
- Women are not taught to negotiate a higher salary from the beginning. We need better tools and communication skills in order to not be passive or compliant, but assertive and diplomatic.
- Although more women are entering professions with higher paying jobs, women as a whole continue to work in lower paying occupations.
- Minority women such as African-American or Hispanic women, tend to earn even less than Caucasian women.
- Women are at risk of falling behind in the technology if they take too much time off to be with family or if they go on maternity leave. In order to maintain and update their skills and knowledge/technology it’s necessary to stay current with their profession.
As a professional woman, since my early twenties, I have personally experienced sexual harassment, lower pay wage, and being asked what my husband’s career is over mine in a social setting. This has been a long and frustrating journey. I have instilled in my own daughters how to maintain their professional integrity and avoid any type of sexual harassment or discrimination by being honest, and forthright.
Support the organization “Women Employed” and learn about your rights to help pass laws like the Paycheck Fairness Act in order to promote equal pay and combat discrimination in your profession.
I hope and believe that our future generation of younger women will not experience the same types of sexual discrimination, wage gap, family leave, and will be treated as equal employees and have equal opportunities.