OPINION – Data gathered by national organizations show women contuse earn significant amount of money, however, in 2013 women still earn .77 cents on the dollar to their male counterparts (US Census Bureau, 2012 p17). Some naysayers say it comes down to “choice.” Naysayers contend that women choose to work at less challenging careers, work fewer hours or even choosing to stay out of the work force longer when raising their children. To those naysayers, I say “Bull.”
According to a preponderance of evidence women lag behind in the wages compared to men. For women of color the wage gap even worst making the problem a gender gap as well. Despite the fact the signing of various laws such as the, Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, Equal Pay Act 1963, Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IV of the Civil Rights Act and The Lilli Ledbetter Fair Act, women still have not seen an increase in wages for over 50 years.
So we know the problem, so what is the solution? Do we need more Laws written? According to one Senator Kelly Ayotte, R-NH, who voted against legislation, intended to prevent employers from dodging federal equal pay, “we should enforce the laws we already have.” Ironically I agree with her.
I have a few suggestions for women (this includes me) that will get us on the right track. Learn to negotiate a wage that is right for you. Know your expenses. The list should include expenses to cover your immediate basic needs for the short-term and allocation for your future. Potential expenses should include child care, rent/mortgage, utilities, food, clothing, investment retirement. Lastly, advocate for the wage while being more pro-active with building wealth for yourself and your family.
The mission, purpose and goal is to educate yourself with wealth building skills allowing you to gain and maintain leaving a legacy for your children.
By Anita R. Johnson
Money Wisdom for Women