Letter: For women, battle isn’t over
On July 22, with great celebration, Gov. Maggie Hassan signed the Paycheck Fairness Act into law. Though there are many who may believe that women have achieved equity in the workplace, there is much left to be done.
Women make up more than 50 percent of the U.S. population. While the number of women in leadership positions has grown since 1908, it has stagnated since 2006. Women are in leadership positions of only 14.6 percent of Fortune 500 companies and 2.6 percent of Fortune 500 Globals.
Women hold only 16.9 percent of corporate board seats. In all companies, women hold 18.1 percent of senior/corporate positions. Only 2 percent of firefighters are women and 17 percent of law enforcement is female.
In politics, the U.S. House of Representatives is 18.2 percent female and the U.S. Senate is 20 percent female.
State legislatures show a decline in female representation with 24.1 percent in state legislatures and 20.8 percent in state senates. Only five governors are female, and 13 percent of the mayors of large cities are women.
Nonprofit leadership roles and board roles for women are equally dismal. And this lack of women in leadership in the workplace has nothing to do with education.
Women earn 62 percent of the associate’s degrees, 57.4 percent of the bachelor’s degrees and 62.6 percent of the master’s degrees.
In spite of these facts, “the median annual earnings for full-time, year-round women workers in 2012 was $37,791 compared to men’s $49,398.” The Paycheck Fairness Act is a start, but there is more to be done to ensure our daughters and granddaughters have a fair chance for economic success.