The Women’s Issues Action Team chooses a women’s rights focus from a list of specific issues in the general areas of economic equality, political equality, legal/judicial equality, health care equality, gender bias/misogyny, gender-based violence, and racism as a multiplier of inequality.
Does this bring a wry smile to your face, or is it too true? We know that a significant pay gap exists in this country (and other countries as well), for women as a whole and especially for women of color. Closing the gap is absolutely essential to helping women achieve economic security. This article titled The Simple Truth about the Gender Pay Gap is an excellent resource to learn more.
Even though the vast majority of Americans support equal pay for equal work, and there has been some progress over the last half-century, it is far from a reality today. It has been estimated that if progress continues at its current rate, American women overall should not expect to see pay equity until 2060, and it could be 100 years before Black and Latina women close the gap! This is simply unacceptable. That estimate was made before COVID-19 and it is likely that the rate of progress could even be slowed by COVID-19’s disparate impact on women’s employment.
The Women’s Issues Action Team researched ideas which have been formulated on accelerating that progress. Taking this research to a collection of organizations from the Charlotte area that have committed to making equality a reality for women, the LWVCM joined with 11 other groups to form the Coalition for Pay Equity (CPE).
CPE’s first event was a virtual panel discussion on “Pay Equity: How Do We Get There?” This event, which was on Women’s Equality Day in August, was the first in a series of action-oriented events focused on closing the gender pay gap. The next event will occur after the November election. Between now and then, here are some things you can do to help in the fight for pay equity.
- Participate in efforts to deliver education/awareness/training about the gender pay gap and how to close it.
- Support candidates and legislation to:
- increase the minimum wage
- provide public-funded childcare
- provide paid family medical and sick leave
- pass the Paycheck Fairness Act
- Letter-writing campaign
- In-person meetings with executives
- Shareholder activism
- Pressure local employers to identify and correct gender pay inequities
- Learn how to articulate your skills when negotiating pay increases.