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N.J. must tackle the gender wage gap

And the wage gap is widest where you might not expect it. Women with a bachelor’s degree earn less than their male colleagues just one year out of college, with this disparity widening substantially 10 years after graduation.

We don’t charge women less tuition. Why should they earn less in their first year out of college despite comparable qualifications?

What message does this send to young girls growing up today? I would like to see my daughter, and the daughters of countless New Jersey families, enter the workforce knowing their work is valued through equitable compensation.

Clearly, one approach we can take to help all of our middle and working class families in New Jersey is addressing this $15.8 billion annual wage gap. Each dollar we reduce that gap is a dollar that goes to help our struggling families.

There are some people who say, “That’s just the market. We should just leave it alone. If we start trying to address this true injustice, we’ll end up burdening the economy with red tape.” I disagree. I say a rising tide lifts all boats.

New Jersey’s women make up over 50 percent of students in higher education. Women in our workforce are highly educated, hard-working, and integral members of our communities. Simply put, the devastating impact of this disparity on New Jersey’s economy demands that we tackle this challenge head-on.

Recently, the Assembly Women and Children Committee devoted its inaugural hearing to pay equity and the wage gap. As Chairwoman of this committee, I am committed to finding policy solutions to this problem and working to strengthen laws that support New Jersey’s women.

President Obama had it right—when we encourage and empower all of our citizens to succeed economically, our families and communities are strengthened.

Assemblywoman Pamela Lampitt (D-Camden) chairs the Assembly Women and Children Committee in the New Jersey General Assembly



 
Comments (1)
1 Friday, 10 February 2012 16:14
Male Matters
Before New Jersey "tackles the gender wage gap," let's hope it considers this:

No legislation to date has closed the gender wage gap — not the 1963 Equal Pay for Equal Work Act, not Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, not the 1978 Pregnancy Discrimination Act, not the 1991 amendments to Title VII, not affirmative action (which has benefited mostly white women, the group most vocal about the wage gap - http://tinyurl.com/74cooen), not diversity, not the countless state and local laws and regulations, not the horde of overseers at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and not the Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.... Nor will a "paycheck fairness" law work.

That's because pay-equity advocates continue to overlook the effects of female AND male behavior:

Despite the 40-year-old demand for women's equal pay, millions of wives still choose to have no pay at all. In fact, according to Dr. Scott Haltzman, author of "The Secrets of Happily Married Women," stay-at-home wives, including the childless who represent an estimated 10 percent, constitute a growing niche. "In the past few years,” he says in a CNN report at http://tinyurl.com/6reowj, “many women who are well educated and trained for career tracks have decided instead to stay at home.” (“Census Bureau data show that 5.6 million mothers stayed home with their children in 2005, about 1.2 million more than did so a decade earlier....” at http://tinyurl.com/qqkaka. If indeed more women are staying at home, perhaps it's because feminists and the media have told women for years that female workers are paid less than men in the same jobs — so why bother working if they're going to be penalized and humiliated for being a woman. If "greedy, profit-obsessed" employers could get away with paying women less than men for the same work, they would not hire a man – ever.)

As full-time mothers or homemakers, stay-at-home wives earn zero. How can they afford to do this while in many cases living in luxury? Because they're supported by their husband, an “employer” who pays them to stay at home.

Feminists, government, and the media ignore what this obviously implies: If millions of wives are able to accept no wages and live as well as their husbands, millions of other wives are able to accept low wages, refuse overtime and promotions, work part-time instead of full-time (“According to a 2009 UK study for the Centre for Policy Studies, only 12 percent of the 4,690 women surveyed wanted to work full time”: http://bit.ly/ihc0tl See also an Australian report: http://tinyurl.com/862kzes), take more unpaid days off, avoid uncomfortable wage-bargaining (http://tinyurl.com/3a5nlay) — all of which lower women's average pay. Women are able to make these choices because they are supported or anticipate being supported by a husband who must earn more than if he'd chosen never to marry. (Still, even many men who shun marriage, unlike their female counterparts, feel their self worth is tied to their net worth.) This is how MEN help create the wage gap. If the roles were reversed so that men raised the children and women raised the income, men would average lower pay than women.

See "Will the Ledbetter Fair Pay Act Help Women?" at http://malemattersusa.wordpress.com/2011/12/03/will-the-ledbetter-fair-pay-act-help-women/

By the way, The Next Equal Occupational Fatality Day is in 2020. The year 2020 is how far into the future women will have to work to experience the same number of work-related deaths that men experienced in 2009 alone. http://mjperry.blogspot.com/2010/04/equal-occupational-fatality-death-day.html

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