Equal Pay Day (April 20, 2010) reminds us that the average US woman would have to work this far into 2010 in addition to what she worked in 2009 to make the same wage that the average US man made in 2009 alone. There are lots of parts to this wage inequality — part-time vs full-time work / discrimination within the same job / channeling of women into lower paid industries, etc — but for women they add up to an undue big-picture disparity, higher rates of poverty, lower status and diminished influence on policy.
Why are things still so far behind after all the progress we know we have made in the past 50 years?
One reason is RECESSIONS. Historically, though affirmative action initiatives and expanded educational and work opportunities have given women a leg up in good times, in tough times those advances were often reversed, as women were pushed down ladder or out altogether. So when the recession ended, we’ve had to start over. (Click here for earlier post with more on this.)
Though we’ve heard a lot about this recession affecting men’s jobs more than women’s, the jobs that we’ve heard that women have no trouble holding on to are the low paid jobs in traditionally female fields. In the past, where women had made inroads into better paid, traditionally male fields they were often disproportionately represented in the layoff pools. Is that still the case – or have we turned a corner?
1. From what you’ve observed, have the women in your industry been losing ground, holding onto it, or gaining in the recent recession?
2. What is that industry?
3. What about women in other fields you have contact with?
4. And, whatever you’ve described, what’s your take on why it’s playing out that way?
Just plug in 1, 2, 3, 4 beside your answers in the comments section below.
Thanks for playing “Track that Trend”!