by Nicole Washington
Up until the 1960s, American women typically had a single duty: housewife. However, by the time the 1960s era rolled around, being a housewife was no longer fulfilling for many women. The long standing fight for the civil rights of African Americans in the 1960s and ‘70s created a whirlwind of opportunity for women to stand up for their rights as contributors to society. When John F. Kennedy became president, women who had similar duties to men in the workforce would be recognized on equal terms. The Equal Pay Act of 1963, in a very brief summary, is meant to keep any organizations from discriminating against their employees on the basis of gender. Each employee must be paid the same for equal amounts of work, regardless of gender.
The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics created a Current Population Survey to record the earnings of a small population of women in the United States. According to this report, “In 2012, women who were full-time wage and salary workers had median usual weekly earnings of $691. On average in 2012, women made about 81 percent of the median earnings of male full-time wage and salary workers ($854). In 1979, the first year for which comparable earnings data are available, women earned 62 percent of what men earned”. Essentially, women who work the same types of jobs and do the same duties as men still only make 81% of what their male counterparts earn. Another important point to consider in the United States Labor and Bureau Statistics report is that even after adjusting for inflation, the adjusted wage of women rose by 31%. In conclusion, while women are seeing an increase in wages from 1979 to 2012, they are still very short of being equal to men.
There are many factors that are against women in the corporate world; pregnancy, child rearing, and family obligations. However, we are seeing a rise in the number of men who are willing to help take on family duties. If men and women can learn to work together, women will have a better opportunity at gaining higher level management positions, thus earning more money.
Our society is no longer in the dark ages when it comes to technology. Corporations can have conferences outside of building walls and in the home, over the Internet, or on computers. This will allow for pregnant female employees to continue to be an asset and integral part of the decision making process within a company. Women no longer have to be cast out when they decide to have a family. Women no longer have to lose their hard earned job or position because they can no longer come into work due to family issues or childbearing.
Women can earn higher wages and have higher paying jobs, even the same jobs that men have; they just have to work a little harder at it. Women have to end the cultural prejudices that have been set against them for so long. Women have made it into corporations, agencies, and so on. Now, they have to prove that they can continue to move up the ladder on their own.
If you wish to review the report for yourself, it is available at: www.bls.gov
The report can be seen here: http://www.bls.gov/cps/cpswom2012.pdf
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