Make History for Women – Close the Wage Gap!

“Do you think there are some jobs only for girls, and some jobs only for boys?” asked Beth Messersmith (NC Moms Rising) to the kids gathered at Marbles Kids Museum for our Women’s History Month event. “No!” – even the kids know that’s silly.

beth at remarkable women event 2014

Now that we’ve established that there’s no reason women can’t do the same jobs as men, can we talk about getting paid the same money for the same work? Studies have continually shown that even when controlling for education, experience, job duties, etc., there is still a persistent 7% pay gap that exists between women and men, and no one is sure why. We suspect discrimination, based on both gender and race. Women of color have an even larger pay gap when compared to the salaries of white males for the same job.

The intent to discriminate against does not have to be there in order for the impact of discrimination to be felt. Discriminatory attitudes are sneaky – that seemingly reasonable idea “well, she has a young child, so she may need to take more time off than this male candidate (also with young kids)” is not necessarily based on anything except a gendered assumption.

NC Moms Rising, NCWU, AAUW NC and the League of Women Voters NC, along with community partners, didn’t attempt to overwhelm the kids with statistics at our combined

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Women’s History Month/Pay Equity event. We just shared stories to let them know they could be anything they wanted to be when they grew up, including all of the fascinating jobs our panelists of women described. And then we let their parents know what they can do to ensure their daughters grow up in a world that values their work as much as it does their sons’. pay equity 2014 1

remarkable women panel