Understanding how equal pay works…

From Yahoo AP lines…

“Sen. Obama told how he was raised by a single mother and his grandmother, who made sacrifices to support their family. He told them that Sen. McCain opposed legislation earlier this year that would have made it easier for women to sue their employers for pay discrimination. Obama supported the bill.

“I’ll continue to stand up for equal pay as president – Senator McCain won’t, and that’s a real difference in this election,” Obama said.

McCain has said he supports equal pay for women but had said the measure would lead to more lawsuits.”

(sarcasm) Oh yes, I’m against equal pay….

Seriously there are true factors that cause wage gaps, and things women can do about the true gap that may persist rather then suing.

From IWF’s article on Equal Pay Day relevance

“The statistic that women make about 77 cents for every dollar earned by a man has been ingrained into public consciousness, but most people intuitively understand discrimination isn’t solely to blame; something else is going on.

And in fact, studies of pay differentials reveal that it’s not discrimination, but the choices men and women make, that are the primary cause of the wage gap. The wage gap statistic comes from the Department of Labor’s comparison of the median income of a full-time working woman with that of a full-time working man, and it regularly shows that women make about 80 percent of what men make. But this statistic fails to take into account critical factors, such as occupation, number of years and hours worked, and education….”

“Might discrimination account for some of the remaining gap? Absolutely, but other explanations are also worth considering. For example, research conducted by a professor at Carnegie Mellon University found that women are less likely than men to negotiate their starting salary and to ask for raises. The differences that result are significant over a worker’s lifetime and would clearly affect statistics like the wage gap.

It helps women to hear that fact and to appreciate the importance of negotiating salary. As a result, we can push ourselves to be our own advocate and take care to teach our daughters to be comfortable talking about money and valuing their time.

If feminism’s goal remains to empower women, then events like Equal Pay Day, which rest on inflated statistics about the extent of sex discrimination, are counterproductive. Far from empowering, convincing women we are victims disguises the real choices we face and the power we have. Armed with knowledge about how decisions about our work life affect our lifetime earnings, women still may opt for careers that provide greater flexibility and personal satisfaction over money, but we will feel better knowing that it was our choice, not a conspiracy against us.”

Here in Massachusetts professional legal associations like the Massachusetts Bar Association realize, not just women transition in and out of the work place and last year had it’s first conference on Lawyers In Transition

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