Archive | April 2013

NOW Supports Robin Hood Tax

April 17, 2013

The National Organization for Women is proud to announce its support of The Inclusive Prosperity Act, a financial transaction tax introduced today by Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn. The Ellison bill would create a Wall Street sales tax, providing hundreds of billions of dollars in revenue every year for such critical needs as jobs, health care, education, housing assistance for low-income individuals, and expanding and improving the social safety net.

“It’s about time Wall Street started paying its fair share,” said NOW President Terry O’Neill. “The people of this country are still struggling to get by, six years after the economic downturn began. Women are disproportionately represented amongst the poor and those working for minimum wage with little to no benefits. We need a strong safety net, and who better to pay for it than the financial institutions that caused the economic crisis in the first place?”

The bill would allow the U.S. to join the rest of the world in a growing system of financial transaction taxes. The recent adoption of a similar tax by 11 European countries — a tax that will apply to U.S. traders whose payments will fund European priorities — shows the proposal has momentum and substantial international support.

NOW activists will join the Robin Hood Tax Campaign on Saturday, April 20, for a rally outside the International Monetary Fund and World Bank offices, and then a march to the White House and U.S. Treasury Department.

What: Robin Hood Tax Campaign Rally and March

When: Saturday, April 20, beginning at 12 noon

Where: Rally at Murrow Park (Pennsylvania Ave. between 18th and 19th Streets) adjacent to the International Monetary Fund and World Bank. March follows to the White House and U.S. Treasury Department

In addition to NOW, more than 140 organizations representing millions of members have endorsed passage of the Wall Street sales tax.

“The growing wealth and income gap in this nation is syphoning money away from the U.S. government and the programs it funds,” said O’Neill. “The Robin Hood Tax is an important step in returning this money to the people.”

The Gender Wage Gap by Occupation

by Ariane Hegewisch, Maxwell Matite (April 2013)

Women’s median earnings are lower than men’s in nearly all occupations, whether they work in occupations predominantly done by women, occupations predominantly done by men, or occupations with a more even mix of men and women. During 2012, median weekly earnings for female full-time workers were $691, compared with $854 per week for men, a gender wage ratio of 80.9 percent (Table 1; a gender wage gap of 19.1 percent).1 Added to the gender wage gap within occupations is the gender wage gap between occupations. Male-dominated occupations tend to pay more than female-dominated occupations at similar skill levels, particularly in jobs that require higher educational levels.2 Tackling occupational segregation is an important part of eliminating the gender wage gap.

to read more or to download the report, go to:

Wage Gap Persists in Most Occupations, Sales Jobs Worst Paying for Women

According to new analysis by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR), women earn less than men in nearly all of the 114 most common occupations. Women’s wages are lower than men’s even in occupations dominated by men and women have the worst earnings compared to men in sales occupations, such as insurance and retail sales.

Occupations dominated by women provide lower earnings: Four of the ten most common occupations for women, ‘maids and housekeeping cleaners, ‘waitresses,’ ‘cashiers and ‘nursing, psychiatric and home health aides,’ have median earnings for a full-time week of work that are insufficient to lift a family of four out of poverty. Women are more than twice as likely as men to work in occupations with poverty wages

“The most common occupations for women show how far women have come, with good earnings in many occupations,” said Dr. Heidi Hartmann, President of IWPR. “But they also show the desperate, and all too common, problem of low pay for many women.”

Women ‘insurance sales agents’ face the largest gender wage gap; women’s median weekly earnings of $641 are only 64.3 percent of men’s median weekly earnings of $1026. ‘Retails sales persons,’ among the twenty largest occupations for both women and men, has an earnings ratio for women of 64.3 percent.Latinawomen’s median earnings in sales occupations are only 45.5 percent of white men’s earnings, the group with the highest median earnings in all sales occupations.

“Year after year, it is occupations with high commission payments that do worst for women,” said Ariane Hegewisch, IWPR Study Director. “Given lack of pay transparency, we have to rely on lawsuit evidence showing that women are not less likely to work hard in these jobs, but are less likely to be given the higher earning accounts or work in the big buck sales departments.”

The fact sheet is updated annually by IWPR and provides median earnings for the twenty largest occupations for women and men and distributions across occupational groups by gender and race, based on weekly earnings data from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Current Population Survey.

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Wage Gap Will Take 45 Years to Close, No Progress Since Last Year

Washington, DC–New research from the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) finds that, at the current pace of progress, the wage gap between working men and women will not close until the year 2057. This updates previous research from IWPR showing that the wage gap would close in 2056 because slow progress in recent years moves the goal for equality one year further away.

“We might be living in space by the time women earn the same as men,” said Dr. Heidi Hartmann, Ph.D., President of IWPR. “With women now nearly half the labor force and breadwinners in a large number of families, the wage gap should already be a relic of the past.”

While the wage gap has been closing since the 1960s, progress slowed in the 1990s. The last decade has seen very little progress on closing the wage gap.

Among full-time, year round workers in the United States, women earned 77 cents for every dollar earned by men in 2011 (the most recently available data). IWPR research has also found that men earn more than women in the most common occupations.

According to IWPR’s analysis of weekly earnings for full-time workers, the wage gap actually widened last year. The ratio of women’s to men’s median weekly full-time earnings (not including self-employed) was 80.9 percent in 2012, a decline of more than one percentage point since 2011 when the ratio was 82.2 percent. The wage gap grew in all major race and ethnic groups. Growth in lower paying jobs and loss of public sector jobs for women may have contributed to the most recent shift.

The Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization that conducts rigorous research and disseminates its findings to address the needs of women and their families, promote public dialogue, and strengthen communities and societies.

Why Women Pay More

From dry cleaning to haircuts, women often pay more than men due to gender pricing. Find out why you may be paying more, but receiving less. You can drop your local representative a line demanding a federal law outlawing gender pricing at:

Q: Why Does this Shirt Cost More to Clean than that One?

A: Because it belongs to a woman. Over the course of your lifetime, you’ll pay more than a man for everything from health insurance to haircuts, dry cleaning to deodorant. Here’s how businesses get away with sex discrimination, and what you can do to stop it

What’s She Worth? The Slow Road to Equal Pay




Women have been fighting for the right to equal pay in the workforce for decades. While developments have been slow, it’s obvious that time has been kind to the women who have fought to close the gap between the median wages received by men vs. women — but not kind enough.

The Evolution of Expectation

Back in the 1970s, the average median wage for a man was approximately $36,207 per year while a woman might earn $21,297 annually for the same work. This means the average woman doing the exact same job as a man in her field was earning 40% less salary – for the exact same job.

But why? Back in the 70s, women were expected to conform to a certain role. The majority still stayed home to cook, clean, and care for the children. They were married women looking to earn some extra money for household goods, activities for the children, or a few gifts. Employers knew that the average woman had a husband who was supporting the household and they treated women as though they were merely working to have something to do to fill the time. They thought this was a great excuse to justify a lower wage. Women, after all, were inferior. Right?

In the early 70s, the women’s lib movement was just barely getting started. As a matter of fact, most of the movements seemed to have hit a wall. According to Time, by 1972, the average median salary for a woman had actually fallen and there were fewer women in top offices (including civil service) than there had been just four years earlier.

Over time, of course, the expectations shifted. The feminist movement regained some of its lost energy and women slowly but surely began demanding respect and equality. Unfortunately, those demands were not always met with optimism and, as you can see, the rate of pay for women vs. men was slow to evolve, and is still moving at a snail’s pace.

That 40% gap in the 70s closed to a 38% gap in the 80s, and while any increase is important to note, the shift was so small it was hardly worth writing home about. In the 1990s and through the 2000s, women were earning about 77% of the salary men were earning, bringing the gap in wages to 33%.

One might hope that the women entering the workforce between 2010 and today would see less of a gap, but this is simply not so. Women today are still earning 33% less than men in the same role.  This is more disturbing than it might have been in the 70s because women today have a greater access to equal levels of education. They’re simply not viewed fairly in the workplace.

The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Act

In 1963, when the Equal Pay Act was passed, women were earning only 59% of the salary men were earning. While it is true that during that time men were considered the primary breadwinners in the household, the picture of the average American home has also evolved with the workplace. Men and women are, in many instances, equal when it comes to the amount of responsibility they have for taking care of household obligations. They’re just doing it on less.

The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009 was one of the first bills President Obama signed after taking office. The bill was designed in the hopes that it would help to close the pay gap between men and women but has actually done very little so far. One of the most important points in this act was the way it changed the statute of limitations for filing workplace discrimination cases as they relate to pay. In the past, employees could only file for discrimination after their first instance (or first paycheck). Now, they can file a complaint up to 180 days after each instance, or each paycheck. This generally gives women, or anyone being paid unfairly, the opportunity to consider filing a complaint as long as he or she is working.

Unfortunately, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Act still isn’t enough to close the gender pay gap. Loopholes remain in the 1963 Equal Pay Act that could have been closed had Senate Republicans not filibustered the Paycheck Fairness Act in 2010 and again in 2012. In January 2013, Sen. Barbara Mikulski and Rep. Rosa DeLauro reintroduced the Paycheck Fairness Act. There is hope for equal pay again but still no guarantee that the bill will get through the Senate. In the meantime, women continue to lose the money they deserve for doing the same jobs as men.

What’s the Overall Impact on the Average Life?

Women who deserve to be paid equally are losing thousands of dollars each year. If a woman today is making 23% less than a man who is earning $47,715 annually, she’s losing more than $10,000 in a year. That $10,000 could have provided more than a year of rent payments, 1 year and 8 months of food, or almost three years of family health insurance.

There is some good news though. While the proverbial glass ceiling has prevented women from moving forward in male-dominated industries and corporations, it has also given women the opportunity to look towards entrepreneurship with a more critical eye. These same women who have been discriminated against in the corporate world are now starting their own businesses, are contributing towards stimulating the economy, and in many cases are creating jobs for others – in addition to paying themselves what they know they are worth.

We can continue to hope for, insist for, and work towards change, but that change will be determined by the way women perceive their roles in the world of business – as free thinkers, entrepreneurs, and spearheads for change.

The infographic below shows the history of the gender pay gap since the 1970s. Feel free to share this infographic (embed code is provided beneath the image) with your own audiences so more people understand how little the gender pay gap has changed in nearly 50 years.

Resource found at:

The Rapid Decline of Women in Stem Careers




 The gender wage gap in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) careers is alive and well as you can see in the Women in Science: Under the Microscope I shared on Women on Business earlier this year.

More women are needed in STEM careers (learn three critical reasons why), but the number of women pursuing STEM careers is actually decreasing. In 1985, 37% of computer science bachelor’s degrees were earned by women according to the National Science Institute, but in 2010, this number dropped to 18% as you can see in the infographic below.

Fortunately, some companies are making efforts to attract more women to STEM careers. Many of these efforts are targeted at girls with the hope of generating interest in STEM careers at an early age. However, the root cause of the STEM gender gap problem is unlikely to be lack of interest in STEM fields. Instead, the problem today is the male-dominated culture of the STEM field that women have to tolerate both in college and after they’ve graduated and been lucky enough to land a job in STEM.

The STEM field is still heavily-dominated by men and a unique boys’ club culture exists that needs to be eradicated. Take a look at the infographic below for more details.

Resource found at: