Four decades to close wage gap? No way!
volume 36
issue 2
April 2015

At the rate things are going, the gender wage gap in the U.S. won’t close until 2053. And if things don’t change, the last state — Wyoming — won’t have equity until 2159. Is this a joke?

Women on average make less than men, with white men making the most. Despite legislation, the wage gap closes at a glacial rate. Women of color are particularly hard hit by this discrimination, with Blacks and Latinas getting hit the hardest.

Every reason under the sun has been given for why women can’t break the glass ceiling. In the end, it’s called racism and sexism. This powerful one-two punch helps bosses pay less and keeps paycheck inequality alive.

Working-class warriors should revive the demand for comparable worth and affirmative action with quotas. Affirmative action guarantees women and people of color access to higher-paying jobs. And quotas ensure goals are met, needed teeth in any legislation.

Comparable worth allows positions with similar skills to get the same pay. It’s a step beyond “equal pay for equal work” because it addresses the reality that many women and people of color are still channeled into lower-paying classifications, despite the actual work done.

Here’s to closing the wage gap, before our grandchildren retire!

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