Letter to the editor: Awareness of gender pay gap is the first step to a solution
By: From Katie Driscoll, Plymouth, 2008 graduate of Two Harbors High School, Lake County News Chronicle
According to the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, sex discrimination involves treating someone unfavorably because of that person’s sex. The law forbids discrimination when it comes to any aspect of employment, including hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions, layoff, training, fringe benefits and any other term or condition of employment. Yet, even with laws and policies in place to prevent sexual discrimination, there is evidence that suggests this issue is still prevalent within our society.
Catalyst, a leading non-profit organization that aims to expand opportunities for women and business, gathers data on earnings and income of men and women in the United States. Catalyst has found that the median annual earning for full-time, year-round women workers in 2010 was $36,931 compared to men’s $47,715. In 2011, the median weekly earnings of women in full-time management, professional and related occupation was $941, compared to $1,269 for men (Catalyst, 2012). In addition, according to the International Labour Organization, American women on average earned 81 percent of what their male counterparts earned in 2010.
The Institute for Women’s Policy Research stated that new research shows it will take until the year 2056 for women and men’s earnings to reach pay parity—if the wage gap continues to close at the same pace it has for the last fifty years. However, according to Gordy Gustafson, the Prairie States Regional director for the National Organization for Women (NOW), if we do not take action now by passing the Paycheck Fairness Act, it will most likely take even longer than 2056 before men and women reach equal pay.
Research has shown that sexual discrimination in the workplace is still prevalent within American society. Please support American women by being aware.