BPW Foundation's Women Misbehavin' Blog

Well behaved women never make history

Posts Tagged ‘Young Careerist’

Equal Pay For All or At Least the Blondes

Posted by YWM on July 31, 2012

Our guest blogger today is Danielle Eisner, a small business owner in South Carolina and a member of BPW/Breakfast of Spartanburg, SC.  This blog is adapted from a speech she gave March 24, 2012 for the BPW/South Carolina Young Careerist competition. We congratulate Danielle on being selected South Carolina’s 2012 Young Careerist. 

 Equal Pay For All

My name is Danielle Eisner and I own a wedding venue in Spartanburg, SC.  Business has been good, so I would like to hire ALL of you ladies out there to help me work the wedding events.  Champagne and wedding cake for everyone!  BUT, since I am blonde and rumor has it that blondes have more fun, I am going to pay my blonde employees more than my brunette employees.  Now, now brunettes, I don’t care how many weddings you’ve attended in the past, or if you were the life of the party in college – in my mind, none of that qualifies you to earn as much as the blondes.  And since I’m the owner of the business, I can make the rules and pay y’all whatever I want, even if you’re doing the exact same job.

 Sound ridiculous?

Well, it is ridiculous.  It is ridiculous that two people can be paid different wages for the same work. And gender or race (or hair color) most certainly should not determine a person’s salary.  The Equal Pay Act was passed in 1963, making it illegal for employers to pay unequal wages to men and women who perform the same work.  Back then, women earned 59 cents to every dollar earned by men.  In 2009, the gap narrowed to 77%.  I suppose we should be thrilled with our “raise”, earning 77 cents to every dollar a man makes in the same job.  But the fact is women are still being discriminated against in the workplace.  And the wage gap is even greater for minorities, with African American women earning 69% of men and Latina women earning only 59% of men in the workplace[1].

SO, how do we change this?  Education is the number one tool we have in this fight against pay discrimination against women and minorities.  We need to make everyone aware about pay inequity – women AND men, business owners, managers AND workers.  The more we talk about the issue, the more support and momentum we can gain, and hopefully we can forge some REAL change, both legislatively and in actual business practices.

We all took a first step by joining a women-focused professional organization. Business and Professional Women’s Foundation empowers working women to achieve their full potential, and creates Successful Workplaces which value the skills of working women and practice work/life balance, equity and diversity.  By introducing new women to BPW, we can educate and empower other women in the workforce.

We need to encourage every working woman (and sympathetic man) we know to contact our local legislators to tell them how important equal pay is to us.  We should ask them to sign a Fair Pay Pledge, indicating that they will support pay equality legislation (including the Paycheck Fairness Act) and they will ensure pay equity practices in their own businesses.

We should support and encourage participation in local activities on Equal Pay Day.  Equal Pay Day was started in 1996 as a public awareness event to illustrate the gap between men’s and women’s wages[1].  This year Equal Pay Day was Tuesday, April 17.  Because women earn less, on average, than men, they must work longer for the same amount of pay, and April 17th symbolized how far into 2012 women needed to work to earn what men earned in 2011.   Equal Pay Day events are used to educate the community that Equal Pay isn’t just a “women’s issue”, but it’s a “business issue” too and the pay disparities effects the economic stability of the entire community.

On behalf of BPW, let’s bring “The Wage Project workshops to our local community.  Did you know that year out of college; women working full-time earn only 80% as much as their male colleagues[1]?  That wage gap will only increase, and that girl has the potential to earn roughly 1 million dollars less than a man over the course of her career.  Smart Campus Negotiation Workshops provide college women the knowledge and skills to negotiate salaries and benefits.  The Wage Project also offers salary negotiation workshops for working women and women returning to the workforce.

Lastly, we should each encourage our OWN places of employment to do a Workplace Pay Audit to discover if discrimination is happening in our own backyard. Let’s try to make some real changes at the local level.  Employers play a major role in ending the wage gap and treating women fairly in the workplace.  BPW has an Employer Pay Equity Self-Audit tool on its website to help businesses do a self-evaluation of their recruitment and promotion processes, and to help establish consistent and fair pay practices for all workers.

Achieving pay equity is within our reach.  Together, we can educate the public and with more voices we can make a difference.

You can learn more about Danielle Eisner and her business  by visiting her website http://www.duncanestate.com/ or her Facebook page www.Facebook.com/Duncan.Estate.SC

Advertisements

Posted in Equal Pay, Equal Pay Day, Misbehavin' Notification, Pay Equity, Uncategorized, Wage Gap | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Attitudes and Perspectives of Gen Y Women

Posted by YWM on April 28, 2011

Gen Y Will be Revolutionizing the Workplace

Business and Professional Women’s (BPW) Foundation  has released a new report,  Gen Y Women in the Workplace, that explores Generation Y women’s workplace attitudes, perspectives on intergenerational workplace dynamics, and perceptions of how gender impacts their workplace experiences. The report also includes recommendations to help employers attract and support Gen Y women employees.

“In order for businesses to engage successfully with the workforce of tomorrow, it is imperative that they understand Gen Y – what challenges them, what inspires them, what motivates them,” said Deborah L. Frett, BPW Foundation CEO.  
 
By 2025, Generation Y (born 1978-1994) will comprise nearly 75 percent of the world’s workforce. Their familiarity and expertise with technology, coupled with their multicultural perspectives and their insatiable desire for making a difference, poise Gen Y to revolutionize the workplace.  Assuming that current trends continue, by 2025 women will make up at least 50 percent of the U.S.workforce. 

“BPW Foundation’s Young Careerist (YC) research has focused on the career choices and challenges of Generation Y women.  Our research provides employers andpolicymakers with important insights on the needs and challenges of key groups of working women with a variety of skills, education and training,” explained Dr. Sheila Barry-Oliver, Chair of the BPW Research and Education Committee that oversaw the research. 

 Over the last year, BPW Foundation conducted three employer-based focus groups. The participants included not only Gen Y women, but also managers of Gen Y employees, in order to highlight both employee and employer perspectives.

Findings included:

  • Gen Y women recognize work as a key component in the framework of their lives. Work life has a critical impact on all other areas of life.
  • Gen Y women assume that work will be rewarding and interesting, rather than drudgery. In fact, Gen Y women expect to enjoy their work.
  • Gen Y women are concerned about the impact a family will have on their careers.  Gen Y women perceive gender differences in terms of long-term career and family/childcare decisions.
  • Gen Y women want to be evaluated based on their productivity and the quality of the work they produce, not the number of hours they sit at their desks.

Gen Y women’s basic assumptions about work affect how they evaluate job opportunities. While salary and benefits (e.g. health insurance, educational benefits, and skills development) are  important, Gen Y women also consider the following questions before accepting a job offer:

  • Does the work have meaning/purpose?
  • Will I enjoy the work?
  • Are there opportunities for advancement?
  • Will the work environment facilitate work-life balance?

The three most important employer characteristics Gen Y women seek when looking for a job are:

  1. Opportunity  for employees to self-manage
  2. Emphasis on meeting goals, as opposed to how, when or where people do the work
  3. Availability of and focus on career advancement opportunities

This research was conducted by BPW Foundation, with funding from the Virginia Allan Young Careerist Grant. In 2008, BPW Foundation released “Critical Career Junctures that Direct the Career Life-Cycle of Young Careerists,” an issue brief that provided key data for employers seeking to engage Gen Y women.  The next phase of the research will include a national survey of Gen Y women to corroborate and build upon current findings. To learn more, please e-mail youngcareerist@bpwfoundation.org.

Posted in Feminism, Gen Y, Gen Yner, multigenerational, Successful Workplaces | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »