Gender pay gap still here–and major for some single working women


Interesting that on Christmas eve, when women are just winding up wrapping (in many homes women do most of the wrapping) for all the gifts they’ve shopped for (in many households women do most of the shopping) the headline story in the Cleveland Plain Dealer, lifted from New York Times writer David Leonhardt, is about the persistent gender gap in pay for women.

Depressingly, though the gap for all women narrowed significantly in the 80s, it stalled in the 90s and now is even falling slightly for a particular group–college-educated women, of whom there are now consistently a greater number graduating each year than men. And while the good news is that one of the reasons may be that more highly educated married women are choosing to stay home with their children, the fact is that women still do most of the work around the house–which inhibits their ability to work extra hours on the job–and plain old discrimination is still a big piece of the puzzle. Wal-Mart is having a class action suit filed on behalf of the women employed there who say they are consistently paid less than men doing the same work. Other companies being accused are Boeing, Costco, Merrill Lynch, and Morgan Stanley.

Seems to make sense that single working women, who generally have no second income on which to rely, could be a force for helping to get this gap narrowed. Of course, they also don’t have a second income on which to rely if they should take aggressive action and thereby lose their jobs, so it’s a bit of a catch-22. However, whether you’re a single mom or you’re all alone, you fight a lot harder when you’re the only one available to get the job done.

That’s why SWWAN is working on finding discounts and special services for single working women. Stay tuned as we grow our list.

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