emergingfree

Christian and Socially-Conscious…One Woman's Expression

Archive for the tag “equal pay”

Dude, Hire Me!

I had a very honest conversation with a male friend of mine which has inspired this blog entry.  I truly appreciate my friend’s honesty.  The conversation left me pondering a couple of things.  I’ll touch base on a few….

So there I was, comfortably sitting on a sofa when my friend casually mentioned that he is significantly reluctant to hire women.  “WHATTTTT!!!!  WAIT…..”, I must have not heard him correctly!  Sure enough, I did.  For a split second, I struggled believing that this was his true thought.  How could my friend, a guy who I have seen debate unflinchingly in support of women earning equal pay and having equal protection under the law, have this bias.  I have seen him argue against injustices, not just on behalf of women but on behalf of other oppressed groups as well.  Surely he did not admit that his personal preference is to hire men because to him a man will always be his best candidate for any non-domestic job, did he?  YES, he did.

I resisted the temptation to argue with him.  Whatever he said would be unsatisfactory to me.  Anyway, I was more interested in determining how my friend could hold and potentially practice this view.  He explained his position, typical opinions I have heard before.  We would have to agree to disagree.

Mentor Needed

I left our conversation that day with many thoughts.  I still wonder how many men in hiring positions share his views.  Such practices, when gender is replaced by race/colorism, seem easier to spot and more commonly shamed…at least in theory.  The issue, at least with my friend, is not a question of “qualification”.  It is the idea of the traditional roles of women, minus the barefoot part (I hope).  In a society where so many women are financially heading households, in many cases singlehandedly, can she realistically expect to reach the top of her professional and financial ladders, even in situations when the entry door is slightly cracked for her entry?  Do women have a responsibility to help each other succeed?  Is such collective operation necessary for her individual success?  My thoughts…my thoughts…these are only a few…only to be met with that last one of, “am I the only one with them”.

I am happy that not all men follow this practice.  I have been hired by both men and women.  In turn, I have hired both men and women. Both genders have helped me further my career.  Both have tried to hinder it.  I have learned that not everyone is comfortable with a strong, opinionated, educated, professional, and in my case minority-labeled woman.  Let’s face it, when found outside of our traditional roles women make a lot of people uncomfortable.  Oh well, we are here now.  If “dude” won’t hire me, I will be left to determine whether I should hire “dude”.

Equal Pay, Extra Day?

When President Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act in 1963, the average pay rate for women was 59 cents on the dollar compared to men. When I first learned this, I was of the age where it was merely a historical fact. Life seemed much simpler. Classroom lesson plans did not include comparing “the then” versus “the now”. The “why” was easily lost in discussions. Maybe my teachers were hopeful. Maybe they thought that by 2014 this would be a non-issue. Just think about it, in 1963 the:
cost of a first-class stamp was $0.05;
cost of a gallon of regular gas was $0.30;
cost of a dozen eggs was $0.55; and
cost of a gallon of milk was $0.49.
Imagine that! I have never seen prices so low. Even still, I would have had to make some hard choices in 1963 with my 59 cents if I were a working woman at that time. Currently, women earn about 81 cents on the dollar when compared to men. This pay difference widens for certain minority women. There are still hard choices to be made.

Sure, as a country we are headed in the right direction but after 51 years I would have thought we would have reached the mark by now. Really, what is taking the land of the free and the home of the brave so long to pay us equally when we are doing equal work? Maybe I am asking the wrong question. Maybe I should be asking, “Where do I go to get my ‘19% off’ discount card?” I am paying the same as a man when buying a loaf of bread and more than him when dry cleaning. Small examples I know, but examples nevertheless. Is this a punishment or was I never expected to earn a real salary for working, to support my real life for living? Can’t help but to wonder, right?

Equal Pay Day

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