Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Women's Work

Today is Equal Pay Day and I am sure none of us will be getting a raise to repair that one anytime soon.  They are in England right now shaming companies into disclosing their pay rates and salaries of those businesss with over 250 employeesa as a means of placing discrimination under the spotlight.  I say Mind the Gap!

And we here in America have a lot of shaming to do.   For American women the pay gap worsened for those women younger than 40 in the years that fell between 2015 and 2017, despite widespread attention to the issue, according to a study by Visier, a workforce analytics company.

Visier found women were more likely to outperform their male colleagues in performance ratings. In 2017, women were 21% more likely to be rated as a top performer, compared with 12% more likely in 2015.  So while running the home and doing their job women still do it all. But having it all well is debatable.

Visier said one of the most likely causes of the gender pay disparity is the number of women in management. In 2017, 18% of men held management positions, compared with 12% of women. n women earned 79 cents for every $1 a man earned in 2017, compared with 81 cents in 2015.   And again this lack of women on Corporate Boards also contribute to the problem.

I doubt the issues brought to light regarding #MeToo and TimesUp will warrant House investigations or testimony aired on television with the intensity of the boy genius, Zuckerberg.  The reality is that despite the attention, the movement to even change the Congressional procedure for reporting harassment has not been finalized yet and little will change with parental leave and other job protections despite that a Woman Senator was the first to give birth in the Senate. Maybe if she had done it on the floor of the Senate like Seth Myers wife did on the floor in the lobby of their apartment men would care.  Mazel, Seth and Tammie!

The simple truth is women work longer and more often are unpaid for work that is all part of a day's work.  True when you shuttle kids to and from school to varying appointments that is a choice which one elects to take but in turn many women forego or forestall careers in order to continue to populate the planet and of course meet their obligations as women which men think that is their secondary function, the primary one being that their vagina is operational and that unless otherwise agreed upon, their parental role is optional.

This is the Bill to the Patriarchy that has drawn quite a bit of attention.  It is worth the time to peruse the article and the site to understand the role of work for women and how it to contributes towards economic inequality and takes away even bigger benefits such as taxes and payments to the system that we call "entitlements."

The next is the op-ed piece by Lilly Ledbetter who was the woman named for one of the earliest bills, The Fair Pay Act of 2009, which  President Obama signed when he came into office and which Trump promptly with a pen swipe attempted to write off.

Yes America we soon will know all the details about Trump's dick and that is just in addition to his being one.

Lilly Ledbetter:
My #MeToo Moment

By Lilly Ledbetter The New York Times April 9 2018
Ms. Ledbetter was the plaintiff in the Supreme Court discrimination case Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire

Equal Pay Day — the day up to which the typical woman must work in a particular year to catch up with what the average man earned the previous year — always brings back a rush of memories. Not surprisingly, many of them I’d rather forget: the pit in my stomach, for example, that developed when I read the anonymous note left in my mailbox that told me I was being paid a fraction of what other, male supervisors at Goodyear were making. And when the Supreme Court denied me justice in my pay discrimination case.

(Some of them are happier memories, like when President Barack Obama signed into law the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act to ensure other women would not receive the same treatment.)

But this year, Equal Pay Day, which falls on April 10, has brought back a whole different set of memories:

“You’re going to be my next woman at Goodyear.”

“Oh, you didn’t wear your bra today.”

“If you don’t go to bed with me, you won’t have a job.”

Those words, spoken to me by one of my supervisors many years ago, still crawl through my ears and down my spine. I remember my fear, both for my personal safety and because if I lost my job, I didn’t know how I would pay my kids’ college tuition, our mortgage and other bills. I remember how that fear led me to keep a phone number for the Equal

Almost two decades before I got the anonymous note about my unequal pay, I was sexually harassed at my job. I complained about the harassment to my human resources representative. I made it clear that I wanted to keep my job but be separated from my harasser. The representative said I should go home and stay there until an investigation was completed. He said that since my harasser had been at the plant for 30 years and had a good reputation, he would remain on the job during the investigation. “If he stays, I stay,” I insisted.

I stayed — and so did he. My harasser, as far as I know, never faced any consequences for how he treated me. But my life at the plant changed. Co-workers stopped talking to me. I had to work harder than ever to repair my reputation and not be seen as a troublemaker for speaking up about my right to do my job with safety and dignity.

These are memories that I don’t like to think about, much less speak about. But hearing the outpouring of #MeToo stories over the past several months, I have come to realize that my #MeToo story should be just as much a part of my fight to close the wage gap as my pay discrimination story.

Sexual harassment isn’t about sex, just like pay discrimination isn’t just about pay. Both are about power. They are clear evidence that too many workplaces value women less. That was true for me in the 1980s and 1990s when I worked at Goodyear, and it is still true today.

It doesn’t surprise me that the National Women’s Law Center, which I’ve worked closely with since 2005 and which has been housing and administering the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund since January, says it has seen a surge not only in women seeking legal help for sexual harassment since the Harvey Weinstein allegations broke last October, but also in women seeking help to challenge pay discrimination. Some women are coming to the center with both of these claims. They are women who can’t get a raise because they refuse to go on a date with their boss. Women who report harassment only to be demoted and have their hours — and thus their pay — slashed. Women who are cut out of training and promotional opportunities for reporting harassment or refusing their boss’s advances.

When I am on the road, speaking and sharing my pay discrimination story with women’s rights groups, students and lawmakers, the women who come up to me after my speech don’t just tell me about how their male co-workers doing the same job are making more — they share stories of losing their job, being demoted or not advancing in the workplace because they didn’t submit to sexual harassment or because they reported it. Of being pushed out of higher-paying male-dominated jobs into lower-paying female-dominated jobs because of near daily harassment. Of how their productivity and health suffered.

All of this decreases women’s earnings relative to men’s, increasing gender pay gaps. In turn, when women are denied the pay we deserve for our hard work, when we have to fight for the raise our male counterpart gets automatically, when we struggle to pay our bills because we are being shortchanged at work, we are left more vulnerable to harassment, because we literally can’t afford to risk our paycheck by challenging it. It is a vicious cycle.

That’s why this year’s Equal Pay Day is not just about pay — to be honest, it never was. It has always been about calling out how our workplaces value women less.

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