AC Meetup: Jill Abramson vs. School Safety Officers Vs. Minimum Wage Workers by Geminijen

(2 PM – promoted by TheMomCat)

The firing of New York Times CEO Jill Abramson for filing a law suit against the Times for gender based pay discrimination has been one of the main stories on twitter the last couple of weeks.

It is plain that the abrupt departure of executive editor Jill Abramson, the first woman ever to hold that position, was related to the fact that she protested that she was paid less than her male predecessor in one job and her male successor and subordinates in another. According to the New Yorker and the Daily Beast, her starting salary as executive editor was more than $100,000 lower than the salary of the man before her-and precisely $100,000 lower when she had earlier become Washington bureau chief.

The New York Times, however, with a straight face, stated that her firing was not related to any such issue but due to the fact that her leadership style  was “inappropriate,” that she was too “difficult and demanding”.

Sex, Race and Class Dynamics Among the 1%.

As the Daily Beast noted, there have been similar complaints for years about powerful women like  Dianne Feinstein, Barbara Mikulski and Hillary Clinton.  Qualities that earn praise  for men in office-being tough, holding subordinates and colleagues alike to high standards-invite blame for women in a culture that believes that even those  professionals who manage to break the glass ceiling should nonetheless know their place (what’s an extra $100,000 a year?) Could it actually be that such women have managed to be so successful precisely because they are assertive and demanding? The Times won eight Pulitzer Prizes during Abramson’s brief and successful tenure.

Fuel was added to the twitter fire when it turned out that the narrative included an added tidbit of gossip about squabbling among two token groups –white women and black men. Apparently there was some dispute when Abramson tried to bring in a second managing editor. Dan Baquet, an African American male, who was at that time the sole managing editor objected and, following the firing of Abramson, became her successor and the first African American to be elevated to the CEO position.

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Sex, Race and Class Dynamics Among the Rest of Us.

While we all seem to enjoy a little voyeurism into the lives of the rich and famous, we are now going to turn to another pay discrimination case occurring in the same time frame which received much less media attention, but which we maintain is potentially much more important.

In New York City’s you may have seen protests outside of City Hall recently supporting the 5,000 school safety agents who have signed on to a class action lawsuit accusing the city of violating the federal Equal Pay Act by paying them less than the special security officers  who perform similar work at homeless shelters and hospitals.

Approximately 70 percent of school safety agents are female, but they make about 20 percent less than special security officers, who are predominantly male. A special officer’s top salary is about $42,000 a year, compared to about $35,000 for a safety agent, the article reports.

School safety agents are responsible for patrolling buildings, intervening in altercations between students and ensuring that visitors are authorized. They confiscate knives and witness gang activity as well. They act as peace officers under New York state law, so they – as well as the special officers – carry handcuffs, make arrests and use deadly force, if necessary, to perform their jobs.

Safety agents are hired and trained by the police department; special officers work for the Health and Hospital Corporation, as well as six mayoral agencies including the Department of Homeless Services, the Human Resources Administration and the Administration of Children’s Services.

During Mayor de Blasio’s campaign for Mayor he promised to address this issue.

While the city’s law depart confirms that it is evaluating the case, the DOE refused to comment at this time and the city’s lawyers are currently in the courts trying to delay this case while de Blasio finishes his budget negotiations with city workers.

One reason why de Blasio might want a delay would be that if the lawsuit wins, de Blasio will have to budget  up to $35 million dollars more per year just to bring this one group of workers up to pay equity– and there are millions of similar pay discrepancies around the country and the world, especially when the criteria is that the work must be the same in skills and qualifications (comparable worth)but not necessarily the same exact job.  To rectify Abramson’s pay discrepancy, on the other hand,  will only cost the New York Times $100,000 a year plus back pay and perhaps similar adjustments for the small percentage of workers in the rarified 1%). If the safety agents win, it will, bring hundreds, perhaps thousands of women workers out of poverty.If all workers who were underpaid in comparable jobs it would increase wages as a whole by 13.5%. So the stakes are pretty high.

One area where progress in raising women’s wages is being made is in the fast food industry where 2/3 of the workers are women, many with children, many making minimum wage. Beginning in November 2012, a series of almost spontaneous one day strikes began culminating on May 15, 2014 in simultaneous strikes in 158 cities and solidarity actions in 93 international cities across 36 countries, demanding that the minimum wage be raised to $15 an hour. This past week 101 workers got arrested outside the McDonald’s shareholders meeting. This vibrant movement has recently been supported by the SEIU Union.

A number of cities and states have already responded and raised their minimum wages (Hawaii, Sante Fe, Minnesota plus at least 12 others)and it looks like other states will follow. President Obama now supports a $10.10 federal minimum wage. It is interesting, however, that this struggle has not been based specifically on gender pay inequity but raising workers as a whole out of poverty.

What Do We Need to Do to End Sex Discrimination in the Workplace?

According to the Equal Pay Act of 1963:

No employer having employees subject to any provisions of this section [section 206 of title 29 of the United States Code] shall discriminate, within any establishment in which such employees are employed, between employees on the basis of sex by paying wages to employees in such establishment at a rate less than the rate at which he pays wages to employees of the opposite sex in such establishment for equal work on jobs[,] the performance of which requires equal skill, effort, and responsibility, and which are performed under similar working conditions, except where such payment is made pursuant to (i) a seniority system; (ii) a merit system; (iii) a system which measures earnings by quantity or quality of production; or (iv) a differential based on any other factor other than sex [ . . . . ] [2]

The Equal Pay Act seemed so simple when it was passed in 1963.  If there is sex discrimination in jobs, we should just legislate that all workers should get the same pay for the same work, if discrimination was the only reason there was a discrepancy.

The most commonly used indicator to determine discrimination against women in the workplace is the male-female income difference known as the “gender wage gap.”It is a very narrow, yet general statistic based on the ratio of female to male median yearly earnings among full-time, year-round workers in the marketplace. This statistic is gathered by the US Census bureau and used by government agencies and economists. In 2010 the median income of FTYR workers was $42,800 for men, compared to $34,700 for women.

As it turns out, accordfing to the gender wage gap, 50 years later women still only make 77% of every dollar earned by men and progress in closing the wage gap has stalled in recent years. The issue, like most others,  is a lot more complicated than it appears at first glance.  

In an earlier diary, Galtisalie quoted Marcuse commenting on Paul Baran’s principle that “the truth is the whole”. Marcuse noted:

[…] in the social sciences every particular phenomenon, every particular condition, every particular trend, in a given society must be analyzed and evaluated in terms of its relations to the whole, i.e., to the established social order. Isolated from this whole the respective phenomenon, condition, or trend remains a false, at least incomplete, and inconclusive datum concealing rather than revealing its true place and function in the social order.

The social order itself, […] is determined and defined for Baran […] by the material process of social reproduction and by the hierarchy of functions and values established in this social process of production. But the concrete relation between any particular fact, datum, condition, or trend, on the one side, and the whole social order, on the other, is never a direct and immediate one. It is always established through various intermediate factors, agencies, and powers, among them psychological factors, the family as agent of society, the mass media, language, images prevalent in a society, and so forth.

When we try to find the truth of why we have failed to end discrimination against women in the market place, it might do well to try to look at it in “the whole.”

The Limits of The Gender Pay or Wage Gap as an indicator of gender discrimination

As a general statistic the gender wage gap can only show a correlation between men and women’s wages but does not indicate the causes of these differences and allows for all kinds of rationalizations and interpretations.

Not only does it fail to differentiate between different classes (Jill Abramson’s salary is averaged in with minimum wage workers making $16,000 a year), races (white women make 81% of what men make; African American women make 64%; Latinas make 53%)or marital status of women (Single women earn only 78.8 percent of what married women earn, and only 57 cents for every dollar that married males earn), but it also  fail to explain the reasons that the wage gap between men and women either increases or decreases (i.e., when men’s wages dropped with the outsourcing of manufacturing jobs in the last 30 years, the closing of the difference between men and women’s wages was heralded as a reduction in discrimination against women rather than the fact that it was, at least in part, due to lowering of wages for men.)

Nor does it indicate the actual gap in wealth (a person’s total assets) between men and women where women only hold 8%-36% of the wealth of the world, a much bigger gap than the individual annual wage gap, due to the historical accumulation of wealth by men under patriarchal relations where women were owned and could not own or accumulate their own property. Even today, in fact, 65% of the money that women rely on to survive and fulfill their family functions is not acquired through their wages or working in the marketplace but through inheritance from their father or as a benefit of marriage from their spouse.

Some have wondered if gender differences in wealth are really that important since  whether we agree with it or not, most women supplement their wealth through marriage and the traditional family unit. In fact, women now spend more of their adult years single than married. About half of all households are headed by single women (defined as never married, widowed, or divorced) About half of all marriages end in divorce and  men and women are marrying at later ages, leaving women with more years in which they are self-supporting. Given the current trends in rates of divorce, the increasing number of single parents, and rising ages at first marriage, the wealth gap for women is of considerable significance.  

When looking at the actual discrimination against women. the wealth gap and the Human Poverty Index (which includes factors such as access to housing, education, childcare and healthcare in addition to wages) are much better and more holistic indicators than the wage gap.

The Human Capital Argument and the question of “choice.”

While employers cannot discriminate on the basis of sex, they can choose to hire or fire someone if they cannot work the necessary hours or have to take off too much or couldn’t get the education or work experience necessary to perform the job. Many studies continue to put forth the idea that women would have equality in the workplace if they did not make certain “choices” such as putting family and children over their jobs by working part-time or if they chose not to go to college so they could have the same experience, education, and skills, etc.(human capital) as men. As noted above, the Equal Pay Act does not consider it discrimination if a woman “chooses” to work part-time so that she can take care of her children even if childcare is not available or a priority in a society. The concept, of studying any data outside of its environment, i.e. studying women’s choices in the marketplace outside of the context of their historical and current role in the nuclear family, is a very limited and narrow analysis and begs the question of what actually constitutes discrimination and women’s oppression.

For this diary, it particularly applicable to note how capitalists historically kept the concept of the patriarchal family and reduced it under capitalism to the nuclear family not only to preserve patriarchal dominance (which it also did but incidentally) but as a rational for keeping the whole question of the reproduction of the next generation of workers out of the public sphere and in the personal, private sphere using unpaid women’s labor. This way capitalists would not have to pay for this socially necessary but extremely costly function.

While profit maximization through cutting costs and developing efficient technology has created many viable products and resulted in some socially necessary labor being commodified in the private sector while still maximizing profit (i.e. the fast food industry), the socially necessary labor of raising children, for example, is not very cost effective — you can’t just create a generation of “Kentucky Fried Children” that pop off an assembly line–and thus it is a cost the capitalist class wants to avoid at all costs.

It has worked pretty well too.

As long as enough privileged men can maintain their own individual family they don’t need to worry about the folks outside the “family” who can’t. Or that this leaves women in the position of continuing to do unpaid labor in the home while having to accommodate and limit their participation in the marketplace in response to the push back from the capitalist system which refuses whenever possible to pick up the public costs of childcare as part of the public social safety net. Women not only do this very costly work for free in the home, but, increasingly pay the price by having to take time off from their jobs in the workplace or find other ways to accommodate these functions. (Mothers earn about 7 percent less per child than childless women. Women who use birth control have on average a 9% increase in their wages. For women under 35 years of age, the wage gap between mothers and women without children is greater than the gap between women and men. The loss of wages also means women have smaller pensions, if they are in pensionable jobs at all. The average single mother pays 32% of her salary for childcare.)

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The interaction of the gender wealth gap and the racial/class wealth gap.

There is no easy way to clearly differentiate between sex, class and race privilege since they have been inextricably intertwined in the U.S. The mainstream wage gap analysis, unlike the wealth gap analysis, does not take into account the depth & dynamics of institutionalized racism and sexism over time and it also does not describe the wealth gender gap within communities of color.

Most people of color and immigrants , like women, have had limited opportunity to accumulate wealth.  For the better part of our history, both people of color as slaves and married women were considered property and could not own property, the major source of wealth accumulation. Men’s wages in communities of color are significantly lower and, in spite of the civil rights movement,  most men of color are still in the working class with very little wealth accumulation. Moreover, the jobs areas most populated by minorities and immigrants (domestic labor, agriculture), are not included under the Fair Wage Act in the United States. As the number of women who migrate to find work in the “nanny” track, the problem only worsens.

Women in communities of color generally have significantly lower wealth and are less likely to marry and to remain married when the men in their community do not have substantially more wealth than the women and there is less inheritance to consider. Institutionalized sexism and racism have kept both women and men of color out of unions, out of political power, out of well paying white male segregated jobs.  Women of color form the vast majority of workers in part-time informal work and the low paid service sector.

As we already noted, when we separate the gender wage gap by race, women of color are at a significant disadvantage, but when using the wealth gap,  black and Latina women, have a negative wealth accumulation: that’s less than 0% or, depending on the study, maybe a fraction of 1% compared to all men. The wealth gap for single women, of all races, especially those who have never been married or single women with children is similar. Meanwhile white middle class married women have 67% wealth accumulation, compared to all men. While, this still is not great, we cannot ignore this internal difference in the women’s movement.

On a  more practical basis, rights such as abortion and contraception might be sufficient gains for white middle class married women as they assume that when the time comes and they choose to have a child, their career path will not be greatly interrupted because they can pay for childcare or hire someone, usually another woman of color or an immigrant, to take on those aspects of unpaid labor that limit their choices. This division was made clear by the failure of the predominantly white middle class women’s movement to organize a fight back against the Hyde amendment which denies poor women abortions since the right to abortion for women who could afford one had already been established.

Occupational Segregation, Sex Role Stereotyping and Comparable Worth.

Numerous studies indicate that variables such as hours worked account for only part of the gender pay gap and that the pay gap shrinks but does not disappear after controlling for all human capital variables known to affect pay.  

A more “macro” variable effecting women’s pay is occupational segregation and refers to the way that some jobs (such as truck driver) are dominated by men, and other jobs (such as child care worker) are dominated by women. Considerable research suggests that predominantly female occupations pay less, even controlling for individual and workplace characteristics

In 2008, a group of researchers examined occupational segregation and its implications by looking at jobs wherein the actual responsibilities and duties carried out by men and women were the same, but the job was situated in either a traditionally masculine or traditionally feminine domain. The researchers found participants in the study assigned higher salaries for jobs defined as “male” and lower salaries to jobs defined as”female,” even when the work was comparable,  suggesting that gender-based discrimination, at least in part, arises from occupational stereotyping and the devaluation of the work typically done by women.

The study further showed that if a white woman in an all-male workplace moved to an all-female workplace, she would lose 7% of her wages. If a black woman did the same thing, she would lose 19% of her wages Another study calculated that if female-dominated jobs did not pay lower wages, women’s median hourly pay nationwide would go up 13.2%.

Gender stereotypes may be the driving force behind occupational segregation because they influence women’s career and employment options. A 2009 study of high school valedictorians in the U.S. found that females were less likely than the males to choose high paying careers such as surgeon and engineer, because, “they are worried about combining family and career one day in the future.” However other studies found that male-dominated jobs actually have more flexibility and autonomy than female-dominated jobs, thus allowing a person, for example, to more easily leave work to tend to a sick child.  

Studies found widely shared cultural beliefs that men are more socially valued and more competent than women at most things, as well as specific assumptions that men are better at some particular tasks.  Specific stereotypes (e.g., women have lower mathematical ability) affect women’s and men’s perceptions of their abilities  such that men assess their own task ability higher than women performing at the same level. When men pays the household bills, it is because they are good managers. When women handle the bills, it is because they are “good with details.”. These “self-biased assessments” shape men and women’s educational and career decisions and are also reflected in the school counselors who guide their choices and the employers who hired them. Discrimination by employers tends to steer women into lower-paying “nurturing”  occupations and men into higher-paying “technical and scierntific” occupations. Sex role stereotyping might be used to infer that in the case cited at the beginning of the diary of the school safety agents (mostly women) vs. security officers (mostly men), the women are paid less because they are less able to act as “protectors”, generally assumed to be a male cave man with club stereotype while women are nurturers. Ironically, while the macho NRA advocates arming teachers with guns to protect students, the only case in which one of the increasingly common mass murders at schools was avoided was when Antoinette Tuff, a school secretary near Atlanta, talked down a student with an AK47 using empathy and nurturing skills. Studies of police departments have recently shown that women officers nurturing skills have reduced the number of potentially violent confrontations during arrests.

Several authors suggest that members of low-status groups (e.g. women, racial minorities) are subject to negative stereotypes and attributes concerning their work-related competences. This is certainly true in the Fast Food Workers Movement where the multitasking skills of the women workers at a fast paced fast food restaurant (flipping burgers, cleaning floors, running the cash register and making correct change — all while keeping a smile and nice word for customers) is not viewed as deserving of a decent wage while the same people will not question the skills of the guy on a auto assembly plant.

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Similarly, studies suggest that members of high-status groups (e.g., men, whites) are more likely to receive favorable evaluations about their competence, normality, and legitimacy. When customers who viewed videos featuring a female and a male actor playing the role of an employee helping a customer, they were 19% more satisfied with the male employee’s performance. This was despite the fact that the actors performed identically. When the applicants gender could not be observed, the number of women hired significantly increased, statistically significant evidence of sex discrimination against women in hiring.

Ala Jill Abramson, research on competence judgments has also shown a pervasive tendency to devalue women’s work and, in particular, prejudice against women in male-dominated roles which are presumably incongruent for women.

Interestingly, two other signifiers of female femininity, age and weight, also influence job evaluations. When a woman in her thirties applied for medical school, she was denied admission on the basis that she was too old (“over the hill”). A male in his thirties who applied to the same medical school was accepted.  His evaluation stated that his age gave him greater maturity and experience which would be helpful in medical school.  A recent study showed that women who are thin are more successful in business whereas men who are slightly overweight are more successful (Chris Christie?)

Three models for ending gender discrimination in the marketplace

According to an article in Monthly Review:

Most studies find women’s jobs at the low end of the pay scale with men’s jobs at the upper end, and some remarkably persuasive inverse correlations between the proportion of jobholders who are female and their level of earnings.

There are two ways to conclude that this phenomenon is caused by gender discrimination. One is to assume that women are being confined to the lower-wage jobs. The other is to hold that women tend to enter certain occupations, and that those jobs pay less because they are “female jobs.”

If discrimination exists because women are crowded into low-paying jobs, then the immediate remedy would appear to be removal of the barriers to their employment in high- paying occupations; presumably, this remedy was made available by Title VII and affirmative action.

The second argument is for the new remedy of comparable worth and is According to now being pursued since not enough progress in job integration has occurred since the 1964 Civil Rights Act was passed Thus, something stronger than merely making discrimination illegal is needed, something like an adjustment of wages. If the discrimination exists because all jobs held predominately by women (for whatever reason) are paid less than all jobs held predominately by men because women’s work is valued less, then removing obstacles to employment would not have any effect. Indeed, evidence exists that, as formerly male jobs (stenographers at the turn of the century and bank tellers during the postwar years) have become almost exclusively female, relative pay levels for those occupations have fallen.

“Since it will do no good to admit women to men’s jobs, what is needed is to raise the prevailing low levels of pay for female jobs.  The need to find the “comparable worth” between men and women’s jobs. [As in the case of the school safety agents], this argument comes close to implying that work has an intrinsic or innate value, quite apart from the monetary wage it commands in the labor market.

[Under capitalism, based on a monetized system and profit maximization], such a notion is neither statistically demonstrable nor part of any economic theory  and represents instead a philosophical approach to the question of production and income. Sometimes it is made explicit: “People who are in lifesaving, life-molding [socially necessary]people jobs such as nursing and teaching are repeatedly told through their paychecks that their work is less important than occupations which deal with machines or dollars.”

A radical interpretation states, “If the discussion of what makes work worthy is extended to the grass roots, we may well determine that all jobs are equally worthy.

….Once the term “equity” is introduced, whether by ethicists deciding what is deserving, or by philosophers determining what basic, inherent value exists in work, or by legislators or lobbyists pushing for specific reform, the term “fair” comes into wide use.

…For advocates of comparable worth who argue for pay equity, “fairness” consists of the wages paid to men. That is, if women’s jobs are to be paid according to their true value, following the ethical argument, they should be paid as much as men’s jobs. If women’s wages are depressed because of occupational segregation, following the argument that finds discrimination responsible for sex-typed jobs, then they should be raised to the level of men’s wages. Such equalization of wage rates would itself promote more integration of jobs.

Finally, following the argument that seeks to remedy poverty, if women are poor because they can only work at low-paying jobs, then they will not be poor if they earn as much as men doing equivalent work. Using the phrase “sex-based wage discrimination,”No employer having employees subject to any provisions of this section [section 206 of title 29 of the United States Code] shall discriminate, within any establishment in which such employees are employed, between employees on the basis of sex by paying wages to employees in such establishment at a rate less than the rate at which he pays wages to employees of the opposite sex in such establishment for equal work on jobs[,] the performance of which requires equal skill, effort, and responsibility, and which are performed under similar working conditions, except where such payment is made pursuant to (i) a seniority system; (ii) a merit system; (iii) a system which measures earnings by quantity or quality of production; or (iv) a differential based on any other factor other than sex [ . . . . ]

One problem with increasing women’s wages  based on the concept that many of women’s traditional service functions are socially necessary labor is that, because they are socially necessary they have, in some cases,  simply been transferred to the public sector.   In most cases these jobs are still performed by women and, since they have historically been associated with “women’s work” or the “free” labor in the home, as noted above, they would tend to pay less than traditional “male” jobs, although this has already been somewhat mitigated by organizing unions in the public sphere. Unfortunately, since they are in the public sphere, they are paid out of revenues (taxes) and do not make capitalists any profit. As such they are always targeted for elimination.  The financial downturn has been used as an excuse to attack and eliminated public sector jobs as unnecessary which has returned many women to a lower paid more vulnerable position. Moreover, since women are still considered the primary service providers in the home, women are still the major recipients of these public services.  Again, as these public services are cut, under the name of austerity, it is women who bear the brunt of the financial downturn.

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But it is not just a question of the current economic crisis. The social welfare reforms and the social safety net that we have fought for can be eliminated at any time when workers no longer serve the needs of capitalism. As capitalists have moved jobs abroad they no longer wish to pay for reproducing labor power that they no longer feel they need. Since women are still the main workers in the reproductive sphere, the elimination of the public social service sector falls particularly hard on women both as workers and consumers.

Even as the patriarchal family starts to crumble under capitalism, the capitalist market continues to push the ideology of “individual responsibility”  to shore up the traditional social structure of marriage in the private sphere to avoid assuming the cost and responsibilities of child-rearing and welfare concerns in the public sphere. One wonders if the recent rapid embrace of gay marriage, especially by Republicans, is not just another attempt to shore up the failing institution of marriage.

So women are left without any adequate private family solution (if it ever was one) and, are faced  simultaneously with  the shredding of the social safety net as global capitalists leave any alliance they may have had with individual nation states in pursuit of ever greater cheap global labor and profits.

Proposed Solutions:

So short of a socialist revolution tomorrow, what are some policies that can seriously attack the underlying problem instead of just accepting the idea that all we can work for is upward mobility for a few women? Some of the following suggestions will not seem like women’s issues, but if we put them on the agenda, we will be able to attack institutionalized racism and sexism at the same time and make serious dents in all women’s oppression.

1. End tax breaks for marriages. Develop civil unions (a concept already in use)for any two or  more people who wish to make an economic contract with the state for raising children (i.e., an aunt and a niece raising the niece’s children, three friends, etc.). There should be no presumption that they are having a sexual relationship  or live in the same residence- and give them all the rights of married people and family subsistence pay.

2. Limit on amount people can inherit. (Warren Buffett suggests a 100% inheritance tax). The money could go to providing social services for the next generation.

3. Provide free universal daycare from age two on. Research from the UC Berkeley Labor Center on California’s childcare support system showed that a lack of access or ability to afford childcare is one of the most significant barriers to getting a job and staying in it. A continuous work history is correlated with higher pay and better benefits. One study estimated that if the government fully funded childcare programs, mother’s overall employment would jump 10 percent.

4. Pass family leave policies. Nearly three-quarters of children have both parents or their only parent in the workforce. This isn’t just an inconvenience, however. It has real financial impacts on working women. A woman who gets thirty or more days paid family leave is over 50 percent more likely than those who get nothing at all to see her wages increases the year after her child’s birth.

5. Take a note from the Venezuela handbook and develop local communal councils for economic planning for local social services where women are the major decision makers.  If the government won’t support the initiatives, develop local credit unions and other grassroots economic initiatives (local childcare cooperatives and “helping hand” groups to give women control over their own economics).

6. Raise the minimum wage. According to the National Women’s Law Center, about two-thirds of all workers making the minimum wage are women (and I suspect women of color), and they’re also about two-thirds of those in tipped occupations that often pay a base rate far below that. Raising that wage could mean a raise for 28 million workers. Sometimes a quantitative difference is so great it can create a qualitative difference and transformative change.

7. Encourage unionization. Increased unionization rates are correlated with a much smaller wage gap. The gap stands at 79.9 percent among employees who aren’t represented by a union, but it’s a much better 87.8 percent for those who are.

8. End occupational segregation and fight for enforcement of comparable worth legislation. Women have yet to really break into the ranks of blue collar manufacturing jobs and are still clumped in service sector jobs. Even when the job skills required are comparable, at the low end of skill level, male-dominated fields pay nearly $150 more a  week. Things are even worse at the high-skill level where  women’s pay is a whopping $471 less a week.


1. ^ a b U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Highlights of Women’s Earnings in 2009. Report 1025, June 2010.

2. ^ a b c U.S. Department of Labor, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Women in the Labor Force: A Databook, December 2011 Report 1034 (accessed 4 July 2012)

3. ^ a b c d United States Congress Joint Economic Committee. Invest in Women, Invest in America: A Comprehensive Review of Women in the U.S. Economy. Washington, DC, December 2010

4. ^ a b c “Justice Talking: The Women’s Equality Amendment / What Does It Mean and Is It Necessary?”. 2007-05-28. Retrieved 2012-03-13.

5. ^ DeNavas-Walt, Carmen, Bernadette D. Proctor, and Jessica C. Smith. Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2009. U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Reports, P60-238, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC, 2010, p. 7, 50.

6. ^ a b U.S. Census Bureau. Income, Earnings, and Poverty Data From the 2007 American Community Survey. August 2008, p. 14.

7. ^ Dougherty, Conor. Young Women’s Pay Exceeds Male Peers. The Walls Street Journal, September 1, 2010.

8. ^ a b Bureau of Labor Statistics. Women’s earnings and employment by industry, 2009. Chart data, February 16, 2011.

9. ^ Bureau of Labor Statistics. Women’s earnings and employment by industry, 2009. TED article, February 16, 2011.

10. ^ Ariane Hegewisch, Claudia Williams, and Amber Henderson. The Gender Wage Gap by Occupation. Institute for Women’s Policy Research, April 2011.

11. ^ 39 jobs where women make more than men, CNN, February 28, 2006

12. ^ Bloomberg. Women CEOs Earn More Than Men, Get Pay Raise in 2009. Retrieved on September 7, 2010.

13. ^ http://www.attorneyretention.o… New Millenium: Same Glass Ceiling? The Impact of Law Firm Compensation Systems on Women, by the Project for Attorney Retention, Hastings College of Law, July, 2010; Peterson, Trond; Morgan, Laurie (Sep 1995). “Separate and Unequal: Occupation-Establishment Sex Segregation and the Gender Wage Gap”. American Journal of Sociology 101 (2): 329-365. Retrieved April 4, 2012.

14. ^ Bureau of Labor Statistics. Highlights of Women’s Earnings in 2008. US Labor Department, Report 1017, July 2009, p. 9.

15. ^ Catalyst. Women’s Earnings and Income. April 2011.

16. ^ Roberts, Sam. For Young Earners in Big City, a Gap in Women’s Favor. The New York Times, August 3, 2007.

17. ^ Eagly, A.H., & Carli, L. L. Through the labyrinth: The truth about how women become leaders. Boston, Mass.: Harvard Business School Press, 2007, ISBN 978-1-4221-1691-3.

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