Having finished the article on the gender pay gap which appeared in the Boyne Gazette’s Wednesday April 27 edition, I am compelled to address this 50-plus-year-old social dilemma.
I’ve watched women work my whole life, work full time myself and am contemplating my two daughter’s future.
Yes, this is real and no, it’s not new. Gender gap pay has been occurring since women have needed cash for their families.
As recently as the 1960s, gender pay gap occurred as blatantly as separately listed jobs for men and women with the highest paying jobs only offered to men (Rowen, 2012).
With John F Kennedy’s passage of the Equal Pay Act in 1963 it became illegal to pay a woman lower wages just because of gender, but that didn’t stop employers from continuing to pay lower wages.
Fast forward to 2016 and the “mommy tax” is alive and well today with the alarming statistic of just $0.70 a mother will receive while the father would receive $1.00 (AAUW, 2015).
God forbid you are a woman of color – you will likely receive a mere $0.54-0.65 depending on how dark your skin is (AAUW, 2015).
I wish I could assure you it’s just in the male heavy industries of engineering, construction and NCAA coaches.
Nearly 90% of industries see this gap and are well aware of it including education, healthcare, and even retail (UK Commission, 2015).
The nation is still trying to figure it out.
President Obama has twice signed executive orders to balance things out (well, he does have two daughters) only to have them shot down by a
Republican Congress (Rowen, 2012).
It seems we’re destine to always be paid a little less, work a little longer. Research indicates when you pay women more, the result is incredible.
Poverty decreases for kids while their education attainment increases. Heck, everyone in the house is even a little healthier (CDC, 2016).
“But we’re just here in tiny, rural Northern Michigan. What can we do?” As it turns out, lots. Own a business? Consider that returning mom’s application or try to find creative solutions if you can’t offer more money like job sharing or flexible schedule.
Promote everyone equally, audit your business’ salary scale for inequity and offer training to improve skills.
You might be surprised at who takes you up on the offer, even if they have to switch daycare around.
Have kids? Talk with both sexes about careers, how to ask for a starting salary and how to gracefully handle things when they discover they are making less (or more if you have boys).
One of the most frequently cited reasons for low female wages? When presented with a low starting salary, women don’t ask for more while men will push (Forbes, 2015).
Talk with your kids now about how to negotiate later in life. Then make them practice the skill negotiating chores or other jobs around the house.
Don’t have actual cash to give them? Fine, use Monopoly money to illustrate. Then make them pay bills using fake money and see how far it goes.
Encourage young girls in everything they are interested in as well as “something different” for boys like theatre, dolls or fashion. You might be the only one in her life that thinks it’s cool she loves Legos or dirt. You might be the only one who oohs and ahhs over the soufflé he baked.
Be the change you wish to see. Don’t interrupt a fellow female colleague when she’s talking, don’t “pile on” her idea or take credit for it and recognize her value in your field.
Let’s be the change we want to see for our sisters, daughters, nieces and grandkids because when one part of society wins, we all win.
Together, we can be certain the entire 2016 class of Boyne City High School will finally finally end this society challenge.
To all area schools: This is to inform you that our post is planning the annual Veterans Appreciation Day, Wednesday May 11, and an open house which will include a display of military uniforms, rifles, equipment, pictures, maps and much more which will be explained and demonstrated by our members to the guests through a hands on learning experience.
We are expecting to have several more military vehicles on display, as an added interest this year, as well as representatives from all levels of law enforcement and all branches of the military who will answer any questions.
Since the inception of this program in 1999, over 10,000 students have taken advantage of this opportunity to learn the truth about the freedoms we all enjoy, the fact that freedom isn’t free, the price of that freedom and who paid that price for us all.
As the students leave the Post, each receives a flag from the grave of a veteran who paid that price!
The American Legion Auxiliary will provide refreshments and scheduling will be handled by the Veterans Appreciation Day Chairman who may be contacted by phone or E-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
We encourage all schools to participate in this unique experience that your students and faculty will never forget.
Gerald E. Evans
On behalf of the Board of Directors of the Char-Em United Way, I would like to thank the many donors, sponsors and volunteers who helped make our 6th Annual “Instant Wine Cellar” a huge success.
A special thank you to our sponsors for helping to make the evening so special.
A special thank you, as well, to the Instant Wine Cellar committee, who spent many hours planning and coordinating this event. Our event
Chairperson also deserves a special thank you, so if you see Suzanne Sipe please help us let her know her efforts are appreciated!
We had a fabulous turnout for the event with over 300 people attending!
The Instant Wine Cellar raises money to help support our Volunteer Connections program.
This program is a virtual volunteer center and any community member can find opportunities searchable by their area if interest, local community, or a local organization they love from the hundreds of needs listed.
To log on and see the program in action go to www.charemunitedway.org/volunteer and click on the “volunteer today” button.
This program is at the heart of what your Char-Em United Way does; Uniting the people and resources of Charlevoix and Emmet Counties to build strong communities.
One of the most powerful resources any community has is its people – the power of US; connecting, volunteering, contributing in whatever way we can.
This is what improves our community and those living here.
Thank-you so much. Together, we made our communities a better place to live, work, play and volunteer!
Char-Em United Way Director