Sunday, July 26, 2009

Are women worth less than men?

I took a class my first year in college, 1996, about women in society and we talked about wages and commercials, raising families, and other things that had to do with gender biases. I remember thinking then, “wow, there’s still wage gaps?” This class was one of the best I ever took because it opened my eyes to the way women and men get treated (in general) different from each other. Now over a decade later, it appears that there is still inequality when it comes to work and pay.

So I was really disappointed when I saw an article in Redbook magazine May 2009 regarding the pay gap between men and woman. I figured in today’s society these type of things were equal since a lot of work places have easily accessible salary scales. However, here are some current statistics that show things are not 100% equal still.

· Women earn 78 cents to every dollar earned by men: African American women earn 71 cents, and Hispanic women earn 58 cents.

Here are some current lawsuits regarding this issue:

*In 2004, Boeing settles a gender-discrimination lawsuit and agreed to pay 29,000 female employees who’d worked at Boeing the previous seven years. The settlement also calls on Boeing to change its salary structure and modify the way it evaluates performance. (And people want to start paying teachers on merit and test scores?!)
*In 2004, Wachovia agreed to pay 2,000 female employees who had been subjected to compensation discrimination over six years. The company also agreed to intake self-monitoring measures for three years to ensure fair pay to its employees. (Again, people want to start paying teachers on merit and test scores?!)
*Female Wal-Mart employees currently are involved in the largest employment-discrimination suit ever, suing the company for pay discrimination and an old-boys’ network that promotes men and prevents women from advancing in their careers. Managers have been quoted to say, “God made Adam first,” “Men are here to make a career, and women aren’t. Retail is for housewives who just need to earn extra money.”

· Gendered wage disparity will cost women anywhere from $400,000 to $2 million over a lifetime in lost wages.
· If women earned the same as men, their annual family income would rise by about $4,000 and the poverty rate would be cut in half.

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