England ahead on female pay equality


It’s already the law in England that equal work must receive equal pay, regardless of who is doing the work, according to an item from Ms. Magazine’s Summer 2018 issue. Now, it says, British law has just declared that large companies there (250+ employees) “must publish on their websites and submit to the government a reporting of the average salaries and bonuses of the women and men employed by them, revealing any gender pay disparities.”

Map of states that have/have not ratified (Used with permission of the Alice Paul Institute, www.equalrightsamendment.org)

Wow. That’s a good start to puttin’ your money where your mouth is. At least for giant corporations. Since the U.S. hasn’t even been able to pass the Equal Rights Amendment – though happily the State of Illinois did ratify it this past May – it seems unlikely we’ll see anything like that here anytime soon.

But Britain is a powerful ally, and it’s great they are acting as a good role model. Now if we could get them to mandate that kind of transparency regarding, first, pay gaps by race, and then pay gaps by single vs. married, we could really start getting somewhere!

Happy Single Working Women’s Week and Day coming up July 29 through August 4, 2018!

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Shopping bliss for living single


We single working women are lucky today because we can save so much time and effort by shopping online–for groceries (Peapod in Chicago delivers the stuff right to your kitchen), shoes, clothing, practical homeowner stuff like furnace filters, or whatever. Imagine–the Chicago Public Library system JUST got their system online so you can renew books on the website instead of having to trundle off to the library each time. And if you’re like me, sometimes you end up having to renew books a couple of times because you thought you were going to have time to read but you were too tired too many nights and just wanted to veg in front of the television.

Think about the old days when we had to do everything around the house, work full time, and run around at the most crowded times (after work and on weekends) to get all the shopping and errands done, especially us single moms!

Now I’ve been married (was for 18 years) so I know that it’s pretty much the same for a lot of married women. Many husbands don’t help much with shopping or errands or even doing kid stuff. But the nice thing there is, for most married people, at least there’s the comfort of two incomes when you both work. Incidentally, I greatly admire those families that decide to forego the extras and live in less luxurious quarters because they want mom (or dad) home taking care of the kids.

And I don’t know about you, but I’m always willing to pay a little extra to save the time and aggravation of running around. I figure my time is precious. So then, add the fact that women in general receive about 70 cents for every dollar men receive to the fact that single women are making it on one income, and you’ve got a picture of the financial struggle many single women face. By the way, you can find some good deals on lots of different items (from many of your favorite stores like Home Depot, Target, etc.) at the SWWAN store. Shop here and help SWWAN get points!

We’re going to be focusing on building our network of trusted service providers in the coming years. If you know vendors who deliver reliable, trustworthy service–especially to women–please email us with the business name, type of services, contact info (and your name as the referrer if you like) so we can talk to them about joining the SWWAN-approved vendor network.

Women and Work – Rutgers study statistics


Why so many working poor women/mothers? Biggest reason is lack of access to appropriate training to increase skill levels.

A recent Rutgers study suggests online learning, conducted in easy-to-reach locations at off-hours times, is the answer. In a pilot program conducted in New Jersey, the results were dramatic. Average wages increased by 14% and many women in the program went on to enter college or community college programs.

ALL the women felt this online program was the only way they would have been able to access training like this.

  • Flexibility in time and location–Work around their schedules–Laptop computers
  • Helps alleviate childcare demands–Age of children is important–Family literacy effects
  • Helps alleviate transportation demands–Access to courses not available in local area
  • Participation in the program increases women’s confidence and self-esteem[italics mine]

This is becoming a recurring theme in my networking, reading and interviewing lately. That sometimes all a woman needs is someone to show her, give her the facts, support her curiosity, and help her fulfill her obligations while learning.

It’s a catch-22 for women. They want to be good mothers, good friends, good daughters, and–in the case of married women–good spouses. These are huge self-imposed–and society-approved–assignments that don’t leave much time for a woman’s own growth. But not taking time to nurture yourself can increase any woman’s sense of being less important than others.

Here are some of the study’s stats:

  • 2/3 of married women work
  • 60.7% of mothers with children under the age of 3 work.
  • 47% of women are on their own. 27% are single and 20% are divorced, separated or widowed.
  • Single women head 18% of all families.
  • Women’s labor force participation is expected to grow from 1.5 million to over 2.3 million in 2015.

In the nearly 40 years since the Equal Pay Act passed, the pay gap between men and women has only narrowed by less than a half. Overall, women earn about 74% of men’s wages. Compared to men of the same race

  • White women earn 70% of men’s wages
  • Black women earn 83% of men’s wages
  • Hispanic women earn 87% of men’s wages
  • 2 out of 3 working women earn less than $30,000 per year
  • 9 out of 10 working women earn less than $50,000

Many thanks to Dr. Mary Gatta for her work. View the complete Rutgers Center for Women and Work slide show here.