In today’s times that we see and hear of equal pay for equal work, women being more accepted in the workplace, and women no longer having to trail-blaze their way into corporate America….why are we missing women in top positions and why are they earning less? Where are the women?
According to the AAUW Simple Truth About Pay Equity, Arkansas is ranked 41st in the United States. Our median income for men is $39,082 and for women is $29,148. I am embarrassed by this fact. We are a state that has produced a President & First Lady, and a Secretary of State. We are a state with corporate offices of major national and international companies, and we are ranked 41st in the Nation for gender pay equality.
Women are earning $.77 cents for every $1 a man earns. That would mean we are worth on average $.23 cents less than a man doing the same job? I think not.
In a society where more and more single family incomes are the norm, why would we pay a person less for the same job? When women are “bringing home the bacon” is our bacon less worthy than if our husbands, fathers, or brothers brought home the same bacon?
One of the five National goals of Vision 2020 is to achieve pay equity by the year 2020. I believe this CAN be a goal realized by 2020 if we all become involved.
What can we do? We can let our employers know, we are FOR pay equity. We, as women, can negotiate our salaries and sell ourselves as being worth the higher (equal) pay. While selling ourselves to employers, and asking for more money is not always a trait that we, as women, have. It is something we can learn, it is something we can believe in for ourselves, and by becoming involved in women’s organizations, or with leaders/politicians/ etc. in our area we can realize the importance of just one voice! In our State Initiative project for Vision 2020, we are working with 9th grade girls to help them realize their importance, and help give them the “I can” attitude so they can grow up believing in their worth and right to equal pay.
Recently, I was involved in a gender/pay issue – on the outside – and realized first hand that there are still a lot of people to convince that a woman is WORTH her salary and WORTH her benefits. And just because she is a woman does not mean she is worth less. Seeing this happen first hand has given me new resolve to try to help educate the women of today and the women of tomorrow….that we are as worthy as a man.
AAUW has some amazing tools, and information on their website, www.aauw.org, to teach us about being stronger in achieving pay equity, and speak out when we know that achieving pay equity is what is needed for our country.
Get with your friends and co-workers and realize the importance and value of us as women, and start spreading the word, that we deserve the equal pay.