Zoe Saldana, the star of basically every movie I love (including Center Stage … so sue me. I’m a sucker for a story of dedication to the arts, cutting edge ballet-rock-operas and really handsome male ballerinas) recently sat down and spoke with Amanda de Cadenet about women in Hollywood and entertainment. She made some really great points that apply to women in the workplace across a number of fields.
Saldana makes an excellent point: men and women aren’t equal in the movie/film industry – or in most workplaces nationwide. Read more »
A long holiday weekend is nearly upon us, and I’ll admit, my mind is wandering a bit today to non-work-related thoughts of beaches and barbecues. But before we all head off to celebrate a Labor Day free of labor, I thought it would be worthwhile to take a look at the origins of this end-of-summer tradition.
According to the Department of Labor, “Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.” The first Labor Day was celebrated on September 5, 1882, in New York City, and was organized by the Central Labor Union, which later urged labor organizations in other cities to celebrate an annual “workingmen’s holiday” on the first Monday in September.
Of course, today we recognize that it is not only “workingmen,” but also millions of working women who have made great contributions “to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.” After decades of historic strides, women now make up about half of the U.S. workforce, and have entered into fields from manufacturing to medicine in numbers that many would not have imagined a generation ago. Read more »
The New York Times today reports that single women’s votes may be key to this year’s presidential election. “Single women are one of the country’s fastest-growing demographic groups — there are 1.8 million more now than just two years ago,” the Times explains. “They make up a quarter of the voting-age population nationally, and even more in several swing states, including Nevada.” But single women have traditionally registered and turned out to vote at relatively low rates, which means their full political power remains untapped.
It’s time to change that. The results of the presidential, congressional, and state elections this year will shape single women’s lives in a host of ways. The elections will determine whether single mothers receive the supports they need to make ends meet. They will determine whether women’s insurance covers contraception without a co-pay. The elections will determine whether the economy will work for single women who have experienced extremely high rates of unemployment through the recession and recovery and whether policymakers will prioritize fair pay for women. Read more »
Senate sponsors Franken and Blumenthal joined House sponsor Representative DeLauro to introduce the bill, seeking to remedy the damage done by the Dukes v. Wal-Mart decision, handed down by the Supreme Court in a 5-4 decision a year ago yesterday.
Senator Franken spoke about how the decision is a barrier to employees trying to come together as a group to enforce antidiscrimination laws against employers. These cases, Senator Franken said, are important because employees who band together are much more powerful than individuals. Senator Franken explained that EEORA creates "group actions," which restore the ability for workers to band together to challenge widescale discrimination.
This legislation is necessary, Senator Blumenthal (pictured above, Senator Franken in background) added, because the Dukes v. Wal-Mart decision created barriers that "set back the cause of justice in this country." Read more »
Eduardo Porter’s article last week in The New York Times, Motherhood Still a Cause of Pay Inequality, has a good discussion of the gender wage gap – it highlights the slowed progress in closing the gap and discusses many of the issues that contribute to women’s lower pay including occupational segregation, caregiving responsibilities, and discrimination.
However, Porter gets it wrong when he says that passing the Paycheck Fairness Act, which failed to get a vote in the Senate last week, might actually increase women’s unemployment. As Fatima Goss Graves debunked this myth in our blog:
Opponents of the Paycheck Fairness Act complain that the bill will hurt the economy and increase unemployment among women. These are not new arguments when it comes to fair employment laws – in fact, some of these same arguments were made 50 years ago when the Equal Pay Act itself was passed.
Welcome to another roundup! This week we have stories about gender-based wage discrimination for physicians, one popular website’s efforts to transform the male-dominated engineering field, and a 1963 PSA depicting Batgirl battling unequal pay…which is awesome.
The 49th Anniversary of the passage of the Equal Pay Act (EPA) 1963 has led to the internet re-circulation of this 1963 PSA promoting the EPA. The clip features Batgirl coming to the rescue of Batman and Robin. Before saving them, Batgirl takes the opportunity to voice her concern for gender-based wage discrimination: “I've worked for you a long time, and I'm paid less than Robin! Same job, same employer means equal pay for men and women!”
Unfortunately, Batgirl would be disappointed that 49 years after the EPA, American women are still a far cry from achieving equal pay for equal work. The wage gap has narrowed (in 1963, women earned 59 cents to every dollar earned by a man. Today, women earn 77 cents to a man’s dollar) but the 18 cent shift over 49 years just isn’t enough.Batgirl would also be up to her Bat Utility Belt in outrage to know that on June 5, the U.S. Senate failed to move forward the Paycheck Fairness Act (PFA), a bill intended to update the Equal Pay Act of 1963. Learn more about how the PFA would strengthen the EPA. Read more »
As the Paycheck Fairness Act headed to the floor for debate and a vote earlier this week, the Washington Post's Fact Checker blog questioned the validity of the figure most often referenced (and the figure we use at NWLC) – that the typical woman working full time, year round is paid just 77 cents to her male counterpart (the 23 cent gap). We produced this FAQ in response.
Here at NWLC, we use the 77 cent figure because it captures the effects of many elements that produce the wage gap – including discrimination, caregiving responsibilities and occupational segregation – and demonstrates just how strongly they impact the economic security of women workers.