Fighting to make persistence pay off
Few organizations can match the American Association of University Women’s long tradition of fighting for pay equity and equal opportunity for women.
The organization founded in 1881 is active today at more than one college in Queens as it continues to push for an end to workplace discrimination.
When the founders of AAUA first got together 133 years ago, women had few employment opportunities in a horse-and-buggy world in which men held the reins.
Today, in a much different world, the AAUW notes that “job creation and economic opportunity are (still) critical issues for women, many of whom continue to struggle with economic insecurity and wage discrimination.”
Despite the many cultural and employment advancements for women in recent decades, the reality is that on average, women employed full-time earn just 77 cents for every dollar earned by a male employed full-time.
A 2012 AAUW report, “Graduating to a Pay Gap,” demonstrated that there is a 7 percent difference between males and females in earnings just one year after graduation from college. The study accounted for a host of factors including college degrees, GPAs, majors, occupations, hours worked, industries, experience, age, race, ethnicity, marital status and motherhood, among others.
The wage gap cuts across every state in the nation and across every racial and ethnic group in those states.
While some might dismiss the disparity with a shrug (“who said life is fair?”), the reality is that the disparity means economic imbalance for the 40 percent of American households in which a woman is the sole or primary wage-earner.
Ending workplace discrimination is a fight fought on many fronts. One way is by supporting organizations such as the AAUW, another is by being politically active, and still another is by taking employers head-on when they discriminate.
An experienced employment law attorney can take the fight for pay equity to them when an employer discriminates against a worker based on gender.
Source: AAUW, “AAUW Issues: Gender Pay Gap,” Feb. 2014