Sunday, December 16, 2012
ANNIE HOULE, grandmother of seven, holds up a stack of pink dollar bills."How many of you know about the wage gap?" she asks a roomful of undergraduates, almost all of them women, at the College of Mount St. Vincent in the Bronx.A few hands go up."Now, how many of you worry about being able to afford New York City when you graduate?"The room laughs. That's a given.Ms. Houle is the national director of a group called the WAGE Project, which aims to close the gender pay gap. She explains that her dollar bills represent the amounts that women will make relative to men, on average, once they enter the work force.Line them up next to a real dollar, and the difference is stark: 77 cents for white women; 69 cents for black women. The final dollar — so small that it can fit in a coin purse, represents 57 cents, for Latina women. On a campus that is two-thirds women, many have heard these numbers before. Yet holding them up next to one another is sobering."I'm posting this to Facebook," one woman says.One of three male students in the room is heading to the photocopier to make copies for his mother.Another woman in the group sees a triple threat. "This is crazy," Dominique Remy, a senior studying communications, says, holding the pink cutouts in her hand. "What if I'm all of them? My mother is Latina. My father is Haitian. I'm a woman."I've come to this workshop amazed that it exists — and wishing that there had been a version of it when I was in school.I grew up in the Girl Power moment of the 1980s, outpacing my male peers in school and taking on extracurricular activities by the dozen. I soared through high school and was accepted to the college of my choice. And yet, when I landed in the workplace, it seemed that I'd had a particularly rosy view.When I was hired as a reporter at Newsweek, I took the first salary number that was offered; I felt lucky to be getting a job at all.But a few years in, by virtue of much office whispering and a few pointed questions, I realized that the men around me were making more than I was, and more than many of my female colleagues. Despite a landmark sex discrimination lawsuit filed against the magazine in 1970, which paved the way for women there and at other publications to become writers, we still had a long way to go, it turned out.When I tried to figure out why my salary was comparatively lower, it occurred to me: couldn't I have simply asked for more? The problem was that I was terrified at the prospect. When I finally mustered up the nerve, I made my pitch clumsily, my voice shaking and my face beet red. I brought along a printed list of my accomplishments, yet I couldn't help but feel boastful saying them out loud. While waiting to hear whether I would get the raise (I did), I agonized over whether I should have asked at all.This fear of asking is a problem for many women: we are great advocates for others, but paralyzed when it comes to doing it for ourselves.BACK at the Bronx workshop, Ms. Houle flips on a projector and introduces Tina and Ted, two fictional graduates whose profiles match what's typical of the latest data. Tina and Ted graduated from the same university, with the same degree. They work the same number of hours, in the same type of job. And yet, as they start their first jobs, Ted is making $4,000 more than Tina. In the second year, the difference has added up to almost $9,500. Why?"Maybe he just talked up his work more," one woman, a marketing major, suggests."Maybe he was mentored by other men," another says."Or maybe," chimes in a third, a nursing student, "she didn't know that she could negotiate."Bingo. Over the next three hours, these women are going to learn how to do it — and to do it well.There has clearly been much progress since President John F. Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act in 1963, mandating that men and women be paid equally for equal work. Yet nearly 50 years later, if you look at the data, progress toward that goal has stalled.Of course, not all statistics are created equal. Some account for education and life choices like childbearing; some don't. But if you sift through the data, the reality is still clear: the gender gap persists — and it persists for young, ambitious, childless women, too.In October, the American Association of University Women — co-sponsor of the Mount St. Vincent program — offered a report called "Graduating to a Pay Gap," in which it determined that in their first year out of college, women working full time earned just 82 percent of what their male peers did, on average. Again, women's choices — college major, occupation, hours at work — could account for some of this. Even so, the A.A.U.W. determined that one-third of the gap remained unexplained.For years, legislators and women's advocates have been seeking solutions. In many ways, the wage gap is a complicated problem tied to culture, tradition and politics. But one part of it can be traced to a simple fact: many women just don't negotiate, or are penalized if they do. In fact, they are one-quarter as likely as men to do so, according to statistics from Carnegie Mellon University. So rather than wax academic about the issue, couldn't we simply teach women some negotiation skills?Ms. Houle, along with Evelyn Murphy, the WAGE Project president and a former Massachusetts lieutenant governor, aims to do just that. For almost seven years, Ms. Houle has been training facilitators around the country and introducing their program into schools. (WAGE stands for "women aim to get even.")Now, working in conjunction with the A.A.U.W., they plan to have negotiation workshops — called Smart Start — in place by spring in more than 300 colleges and universities nationwide. Nearly 30 colleges have already signed up for three-year commitments.Several other organizations have also begun working with schools, Girl Scout programs and Y.W.C.A.'s to coach women before they enter the work force.At Smith College, the Center for Work and Life recently began a program called Leadership for Rebels that teaches young women assertive communication skills, through role-playing and workshops. At Carnegie Mellon, the Heinz School of Public Policy and Management will start its first Negotiation Academy for Women next month, led by the economist Linda Babcock. She is also the founder of a program called "Progress" that aims to teach similar skills to 7- to 12-year-old girls."I do think that people are really starting to take this idea seriously," says Professor Babcock, a co-author of "Women Don't Ask." "I think they're starting to understand that we have to train the next generation of women when they're young."At Mount St. Vincent, the Smart Start workshop is broken into sections: understanding the wage gap, learning one's worth on the market, and practical negotiation, in which students use role-playing in job-offer situations.Women learn never to name a salary figure first, and to provide a range, not a number, if they're pressed about it. They are coached not to offer up a figure from their last job, unless explicitly asked. The use of terms like "initial offer" — it's not final! — is pounded into them. And, perhaps most important, they learn never, ever, to say yes to an offer immediately."I can't tell you how many times I hear stories of women who go into a negotiation saying, ‘Oh my gosh, thank you so much, I'll take it!'" says Ms. Houle, noting that one student she coached even hugged her boss. "Here these women are, more educated than ever, incurring incredible debt to get that education, and they're going to take whatever they're offered. It's like, ‘No, no, no!' "Many reasons exist for women's fears about asking for higher pay.There's the fear of being turned down. ("I think we take rejection personally," Ms. Murphy says.) There's the economy. (If you negotiate in a tough market, might the offer be rescinded?) There's the fact that women, in general, are less likely to take risks — a business asset in the long run, but one that can make advocating for themselves tricky. There's also the reality that many women have internalized the idea that asking is somehow not ladylike."Girls and women intuit that speaking up can be dangerous to your reputation — that asking for too much can be viewed as conceited or cocky," says Rachel Simmons, co-founder of the Girls Leadership Institute and a creator of the Leadership for Rebels program at Smith. "This may begin on the playground, but it extends all the way into the workplace."Research by the Harvard senior lecturer Hanna Riley Bowles and others has found that women who negotiate are considered pushy and less likable — and, in some cases, less likely to be offered jobs as a result.That's why women's approach to negotiation is crucial. In one study, from Professor Babcock at Carnegie Mellon, men and women asked for raises using identical scripts. People liked the men's style. But the women were branded as aggressive — unless they gave a smile while they asked, or appeared warm and friendly. In other words, they conformed to feminine stereotypes."The data shows that men are able to negotiate for themselves without facing any negative consequences, but when women negotiate, people often like them less and want to work with them less," says Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook's chief operating officer, whose forthcoming book "Lean In" is about women and leadership. "Even if women haven't studied this or seen this data, they often implicitly understand this, so they hold back."So, it's a balancing act. Ask, but ask nicely. Demand, but with a smile. It's not fair — yet understanding these dynamics can be the key to overcoming them, Ms. Sandberg says.The good news is that all of these things can be learned. In 2003, when Professor Babcock was conducting research for her book, she surveyed Carnegie Mellon graduates of the management school, determining that 13 percent of women had negotiated the salaries in the jobs they'd accepted, versus 52 percent of men. Four years later, after a lengthy book tour and talking relentlessly about these issues on campus, she found that the numbers had flipped: 68 percent of women negotiated, versus 65 percent of men.Ms. Simmons put it this way: "This is about muscles that need to be developed. This is about practice."AND practice they will, one workshop at a time.At the session at Mount St. Vincent, the women researched median wages and practiced speaking clearly and warmly. They tried to remember the three T's: tone (be positive but persuasive), tactics (never name a salary figure first) and tips (sell yourself, but anticipate objections; don't get too personal, but be personal enough)."It was nerve-racking," said Ria Grant, a nursing student."I stuttered," recalled Danielle Heumegni, a sociology major.And yet they felt good."I realized there's a way to sell myself without feeling uncomfortable," Dominique Remy said."You won't get anything if you don't at least try," said Erika Pichardo."This," Ms. Heumegni said, waving her set of pink dollar bills in the air, "was my aha! moment."Jessica Bennett is the executive editor of Tumblr.
Saturday, June 30, 2012
Friday, March 30, 2012
WAGE Page March 2012 WAGE Congratulates Campuses for Their Three Year Commitments to $tart $mart Workshops. To date, 12 colleges and universities have secured licenses enabling them to offer the $tart $mart workshop as often as they wish for three years. The first campus to make such a commitment to three years of workshops was the University of Cincinnati, followed by the University of Missouri, the University of New Mexico, the University of Texas at Tyler, Wright State University, Xavier University, the University of Hawaii, Harvard University, Miami University of Ohio, Northwestern University, Virginia Tech, and the AAUW of Colorado. (Dorrie—I looked over your list and there were a couple campuses that I determine whether or not they have paid up yet, specifically CA U of Pa and FGCU. Please check this list—the ones I listed, these two question marks, and any others I overlooked. I is important that the list we mail in the wAGE page is perfect!) From these campuses we are gaining insights and understanding of value to every campus workshop initiatives. For example, the AAUW of Colorado reminds us that the most important part of planning a workshop is ensuring that workshops do not coincide with school holidays and breaks. ____(Sharberi Dey’s institution) suggests outreach to a wide variety of offices, including career services, the graduate school, student activities, the corps of cadets, multicultural programs and human resources. Campus newspapers, campus television stations, local newspapers have been tapped by many of these three year institutions. (Dorrie—these may not be the best examples. They are ones that just popped out at me from a quick glance at the surveys you passed along to me. Feel free to use some other examples either to replace or augment these. If you decide to augment, they since I haven’t gotten the evaluation info from your mom, let’s just make this WAGE Page two items—1. Featuring our licensees; and 2 announcement of fees going up.) By summer 2012, we will distribute a full report on the lessons gained from these licensees. Yet the most important early lesson is that, on these campuses, the license has enabled these campuses to double the number of workshops they offer—and in some cases even more, and that means many more women can start their work lives paid fairly. $ Announcing $tart $mart fees for academic year 2012-2013 (Sept 1, 2012-June 1,2013) We make every effort to keep the fees for $tart $mart workshops as reasonable as possible in order to encourage participation on every campus in the country. Yet, we must cover the our costs in order to provide support for the vast network of campuses now participating in this program. So, we want to inform you a modest increases in the workshop feesl Beginning the next academic year, 2012-2013, the fee for the first $tart $mart workshop on a campus will be $650, and $350 for repeat workshops during that academic year. The fee for any $tart $mart workshop that has already scheduled a date for the coming academic year or that sets a date before April 30, 2012 will continue to be $600. Beginning June 1, 2012 the fee for being trained to facilitate a $tart $mart workshop will be $100 per person. Anyone already registered for a training session this academic year will still be charged $50. Beginning June 1, 2012, any trained facilitator charged $100 will be reimbursed $50 after facilitating and/or recruiting two campus workshops.
WAGE Page March 2012
WAGE Congratulates Campuses for Their Three Year Commitments to $tart $mart Workshops.
To date, 12 colleges and universities have secured licenses enabling them to offer the $tart $mart workshop as often as they wish for three years. The first campus to make such a commitment to three years of workshops was the University of Cincinnati, followed by the University of Missouri, the University of New Mexico, the University of Texas at Tyler, Wright State University, Xavier University, the University of Hawaii, Harvard University, Miami University of Ohio, Northwestern University, Virginia Tech, and the AAUW of Colorado. (Dorrie—I looked over your list and there were a couple campuses that I determine whether or not they have paid up yet, specifically CA U of Pa and FGCU. Please check this list—the ones I listed, these two question marks, and any others I overlooked. I is important that the list we mail in the wAGE page is perfect!)
From these campuses we are gaining insights and understanding of value to every campus workshop initiatives. For example, the AAUW of Colorado reminds us that the most important part of planning a workshop is ensuring that workshops do not coincide with school holidays and breaks. ____(Sharberi Dey’s institution) suggests outreach to a wide variety of offices, including career services, the graduate school, student activities, the corps of cadets, multicultural programs and human resources. Campus newspapers, campus television stations, local newspapers have been tapped by many of these three year institutions. (Dorrie—these may not be the best examples. They are ones that just popped out at me from a quick glance at the surveys you passed along to me. Feel free to use some other examples either to replace or augment these. If you decide to augment, they since I haven’t gotten the evaluation info from your mom, let’s just make this WAGE Page two items—1. Featuring our licensees; and 2 announcement of fees going up.)
By summer 2012, we will distribute a full report on the lessons gained from these licensees. Yet the most important early lesson is that, on these campuses, the license has enabled these campuses to double the number of workshops they offer—and in some cases even more, and that means many more women can start their work lives paid fairly.
Announcing $tart $mart fees for academic year 2012-2013 (Sept 1, 2012-June 1,2013)
We make every effort to keep the fees for $tart $mart workshops as reasonable as possible in order to encourage participation on every campus in the country. Yet, we must cover the our costs in order to provide support for the vast network of campuses now participating in this program. So, we want to inform you a modest increases in the workshop feesl
Beginning the next academic year, 2012-2013, the fee for the first $tart $mart workshop on a campus will be $650, and $350 for repeat workshops during that academic year. The fee for any $tart $mart workshop that has already scheduled a date for the coming academic year or that sets a date before April 30, 2012 will continue to be $600.
Beginning June 1, 2012 the fee for being trained to facilitate a $tart $mart workshop will be $100 per person. Anyone already registered for a training session this academic year will still be charged $50.
Beginning June 1, 2012, any trained facilitator charged $100 will be reimbursed $50 after facilitating and/or recruiting two campus workshops.
Thursday, June 30, 2011
WAGE PAGE JUNE 2011
$tart $mart WORKS!
Preliminary results of (anonymous) evaluations from participants in the $tart $mart workshops throughout the country have startled us! We have consistently observed enthusiastic engagement by students in these workshops. Yet we have not had sufficient capacity to systematically assess the impact of these workshops on students. During the last several months, the AAUW has accumulated evaluations and tallied responses. Here are two dramatic findings:
First, before the workshop, 5% of the students knew how to objectively determine the salary range for the job they wanted after graduation and their worth in this range. After the workshop 99% could do so!
Second, before the workshop, over 40% of the students reported that they had no confidence they could negotiate for the salary and benefits that matched their education and experience. Of those who said they were confident, only 6% were “very” or “extremely” confident. After the workshop, 100% of the participants said they were confident they could negotiate a fair salary, and fully 54% were “very” or “extremely” confident!
To be effective at salary negotiation, a young woman starting her career needs to be objective about her worth in the marketplace and confident that she can negotiate effectively. By both these measures, within the two to three hours of this workshop, $tart $mart has real impact on a young woman’s earnings opportunities.
$tart $mart Statistics
In partnership with the AAUW, 112 $tart $mart workshops were presented in the most recent academic year, a 40% growth over the previous year. Thirty one new campuses offered workshops. In all, over 200 $tart $mart workshops have now been offered in 35 states and Washington, DC. This year, WAGE licensed four campuses—University of Cincinnati, University of Colorado at Denver, Virginia Tech University and the University of Texas at Tyler— allowing them to conduct unlimited numbers of workshops during the next three academic years.
Seventeen Facilitator Training workshops were held adding another 127 more facilitators trained to conduct workshops in the 2011-2012 academic year. In all, WAGE has trained over 800 women throughout the country.
A complete list of the community colleges, colleges and universities that have offered $tart $mart workshops is attached to this WAGE Page.
2011: Work $mart Workshops
Salary negotiation workshops for working women from a variety of professional sectors have been conducted this year. Among them, the following
--In January, 2011, led by Mary Lynds, Accounting Supervisor with Constantino Richards Rizzo, LLP and sponsored by the Women in Accounting Subcommittee of the Massachusetts Society of Certified Public Accountants, a Work $mart workshop “Finding Your Value” was conducted for 40 women accountants in Natick Massachusetts;
In March, Dr. Kee Chan invited WAGE to conduct a workshop sponsored by American Women in Science(AWIS) at Boston University in Boston, MA. Two years earlier, AWIS sponsored salary negotiation workshop in Cambridge MA for other women scientists and engineers in the Boston metropolitan area.
--in May 2011, two workshops, one for faculty, the other for staff, were held at Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA, sponsored by the Vice Provost’s office. Evaluations of the workshop led the Vice Provost to inform WAGE that “your session received unanimous, outstanding evaluations. In the history of my office, no program has ever received ratings as high as these!”
--In May, with leadership from Dr. Lyssette Cardona and Dr. Maria Diaz, a salary negotiation workshops was conducted for several dozen women physicians at the Cleveland Clinic in Weston, FL.
Wednesday, July 01, 2009
Upcoming $tart $mart Facilitator Trainings JULYJuly 14, 2009- Atlanta, GA- Georgia Institute of Technology, Student Services Building, 1-4PM, Room 117, 353 Ferst Drive, Atlanta, GA 30332July 17, 2009 - Hendersonville, NC- Time and Place to be determined. If you are interested in this training, contact Annie Houle [email@example.com] or Nancy Shoemaker [firstname.lastname@example.org] July 21, 2009- Raleigh, NC Contact Annie Houle, email@example.com, for detailsAUGUSTAugust 5, 2009 - California University of Pennsylvania [Western PA] - Lunch 11:00 AM till noon, workshop noon until 3:00 PM, contact Annie Houle for more information or to register August 6, 2009- University of Dayton, Dayton, Ohio- 5:00 to 8:00 PM, location to be announced, contact Annie or Lisa Rismiller, firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested August 10, 2009- Minneapolis/Saint Paul- $tart $mart Workshop for STEM students at the University of MN, followed by a Facilitator Training . Contact Debra Fitzpatrick at email@example.com or Annie HouleAugust 15, 2009- Ohio Wesleyan University- Delaware, OH, Conrades-Wetherell Science Center 1:30 to 4:30 [contact Annie Houle or Diane Regan, firstname.lastname@example.org for more information] August 17, 2009- West Chester, PA- 10AM to 1:00PM, Contact Annie Houle or Dot McLane [email@example.com] Other states that are planning training are: Michigan, Texas, California, Florida, and New Jersey. If you are interested in helping to bring the $tart $mart Facilitator training or a $tart $mart Campus Workshop to your state, please contact Annie Houle firstname.lastname@example.org or Katie Schindler at email@example.com.
Thursday, June 11, 2009
WAGE Page June 5, 2009GET TRAINED TO CONDUCT SALARY NEGOTIATION WORKSHOPS FOR YOUNG WOMENThe WAGE Project and AAUW will be presenting a $tart $mart Facilitator Training at the AAUW National Convention in Saint Louis, MO. Annie Houle, National Director of Campus and Community Initiatives, will lead the workshop for AAUW members and others interested in being trained as facilitators and in bringing the salary negotiation workshops to young women on campuses in their states.When: Thursday, June 25th, 2009Time: 4:00 to 7:00 PMWhere: Catholic Charities Conference Center [ 2 blocks from the convention site, directions will be supplied upon registration]Cost: $50.00 [includes materials, training, ongoing coaching. Please make checks out to the WAGE Project and bring them with you]If you are interested in attending or if you would like more information on the $tart $mart Workshops, please contact Annie Houle firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible as seating will be limited. More details about the site will be sent to you as you register.AAUW/WAGE Trained FacilitatorsSince AAUW and WAGE signed the cooperative agreement in March 2009 to provide $tart $mart workshops, we have trained 78 AAUW members in 8 states-- AL, CT, IL, ND/MN, NY, NC, and OK. 10 other state trainings are being planned for this summer and early fall. The list of scheduled trainings is below. We will send out announcements as each new site is scheduled. We hope you will take this opportunity to become a trained facilitator and/or help get $tart $mart workshops on 100 campuses nationwide this fall. We look forward to seeing you there.Upcoming $tart $mart Facilitator TrainingsJune 25th- Missouri, Saint Louis- AAUW National ConventionJuly 17th or 18th- Hendersonville, NC- Date, Time and Place to be determined. If you are interested in this training, contact Annie Houle [email@example.com] or Nancy Shoemaker [firstname.lastname@example.org]August 5th- California University of Pennsylvania [Western PA]- Lunch 11:00 AM till noon, workshop noon until 3:00 PMAugust 7th- Southwestern Ohio- site and time to be announced, contact Annie if you are interestedAugust 10th or 11th- Minneapolis/St Paul MN [working on details]August 15th- Ohio Wesleyan University- campus location and time to be determinedAugust 17th- West Chester, PA- 10AM to 1:00PM, Contact Annie Houle or Dot McLane [email@example.com]Other states that are planning training are: Michigan, Texas, California, Florida, Georgia, Missouri and New Jersey. If you are interested in helping to bring the $tart $mart Facilitator training or a $tart $mart Campus Workshop to your state, please contact Annie Houle firstname.lastname@example.org or Katie Schindler at email@example.com to editWORKSHOP and WAGE Presentations Spring 2009While training of AAUW members is underway, WAGE has been busy this spring conducting $tart Smart workshops on the following campuses:Loyola University School of Law, ChicagoIllinois Institute of technology, ChicagoNorthern Illinois University, DekalbThe University of Maine, OronoMichigan Tech, Houlton [facilitator led]Eastern Maine Community College- BangorCape Cod Community College [Facilitator led]Oklahoma State University, StillwaterUniversity of Oklahoma, NormanUniversity of Maine, Presque IsleWellesley, Wellesley, MANortheastern University School of Law, BostonTrinity College, Hartford, CT [facilitator led]University of Southern Maine, PortlandUniversity of MA/AmherstUniversity of MA/DartmouthCentral Connecticut State University, New BritainUniversity of Maine, AugustaWork $mart workshops were offered to several different professional working women's groups. In early May, Evelyn Murphy conducted two Work $mart workshops at Bentley University's Fourth Annual Professional Development Conference in Waltham, MA. Junior professional women, 3-7 years into their careers, working for health insurers, instrumentation companies, and biotechnology firms engaged in a lively workshop about getting raises and promotions. An abbreviated Work $mart workshop was presented to the Women's Bar of Wyoming at their annual conference in Saratoga, WY.WAGE has been actively promoting workshops in speeches throughout the country. Dr. Murphy was the keynote speaker at the annual Alabama AAUW state convention in Mobile, AL. On April 6th, she addressed the Women's Economic Summit in Lowell, MA. In early May, following an award given to Lilly Ledbetter, Evelyn Murphy was the keynote speaker to 900 women and men attending Women Employed's annual Working Lunch in Chicago, IL. By all accounts, the Ledbetter-Murphy team made a compelling case for pay equity.click to editWAGE WELCOMES NEW STAFFKatie Schindler has joined the WAGE Project as our Director of Program Operations. Many of you will recognize her name, as Katie has been working with WAGE part time for two years helping us with the WAGE Page. In her new capacity, Katie with be scheduling workshops and training, overseeing data management, billing and handling inquiry responses. Please welcome her, as we do, and look forward to hearing from her as we work together to get women across the country paid fairly. Her email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Monday, March 23, 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE March 19, 2009Contacts:Lisa Goodnight 202/785-7738 email@example.comAnnie Houle 207/899-2883 firstname.lastname@example.org AAUW, the WAGE Project Join Forces to Address Equal Pay WASHINGTON - AAUW and The WAGE Project today announced the formation of a partnership to ensure that women graduating from college start their careers knowing how to negotiate for fair and equal pay. This partnership will offer $tart $mart Campus Negotiation Workshops to 500 college campuses over the next three years. These nuts-and-bolts workshops, piloted by WAGE in 2007 and 2008 on more than 60 campuses, will be presented by trained AAUW facilitators. AAUW and WAGE urge all campuses in the nation to offer this valuable workshop, which can serve as a powerful influence in the lives of young women. The gender wage gap begins as early as the first year after a woman graduates from college, according to AAUW's research report, Behind the Pay Gap. A decade after graduation, it widens. In fact, AAUW found that the gap is clear even when women have the same major and occupation as their male counterparts. Over a 40-year career, college-educated women will have an average lifetime loss of roughly $1 million. In higher-paying fields, such as law, the wage gap can result in even greater lifetime losses - and long-term significantly impact retirement and Social Security income. Nationwide, working families lose $200 billion of income annually to the gender wage gap. And as benefits, raises, and job offers are typically based on current earnings, a fair wage at the beginning of a career can help set the stage for lifetime equity. "$tart $mart Campus Negotiation Workshops combine the vast membership of AAUW with the innovation of WAGE workshops to advance pay equity for working women," said AAUW Executive Director Linda D. Hallman, CAE. "AAUW is well known for fighting to close the wage gap through our efforts on Capitol Hill and our other advocacy work. With these workshops, we will be on the front lines, mentoring young women to become their own best advocates." "Empowering college women with knowledge and tools to counteract the reality of the gender wage gap is the objective of The WAGE Project's $tart $mart Campus Negotiation Workshops. WAGE is thrilled to have this opportunity to partner with AAUW members to bring $tart $mart workshops to women in colleges, community colleges, and universities throughout the United States. When these women graduate, they will have a better chance to get the paychecks they deserve," said Evelyn Murphy, president of WAGE. The gender pay gap persists because of inadequate knowledge about its devastating impact and causes, inequitable treatment of working women, and women's lack of knowledge about negotiating for a fair and equal salary. Negotiating salaries is a challenge for women at all stages of their careers, but it is an essential tool--along with stronger anti-discrimination laws and better enforcement of existing policies--to achieving economic security for women and their families. ###AAUW advances equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, and research. Since 1881, AAUW has been one of the nation's leading voices promoting education and equity for women and girls. It has a nationwide network of 100,000 members, 1,300 branches, and 500 college/university institutional partners. Since its founding more than 127 years ago, members have examined and taken positions on the fundamental issues of the day -- educational, social, economic, and political. AAUW's commitment to educational equity is reflected in its public policy advocacy, community programs, leadership development, conventions and conferences, national partnerships, and international connections. Visit the AAUW website at www.aauw.org.
Monday, February 23, 2009
A STRATEGIC LEAP TO PAY EQUITYThe article below by WAGE President Evelyn Murphy was published in the Boston Globe today. This strategy offers a potential breakthrough to achieve gender pay equity in the next few years by aligning pay equity with and leading a progressive, inclusive and ambitious labor policy in the Obama administration. If we seize the opportunity right in front of us, the federal response to the current economic turmoil is also a once-in-a-century opportunity for us to address wage discrimination, educate and train Americans to be competitive in a world marketplace, and enable today's workers to contribute fully. Please forward this to everyone you know who cares about pay equity. Let's get this movement fully engaged in the policy debate of today. A labor policy that fits the times By Evelyn F. Murphy December 13, 2008 TAXPAYER MONEY is bailing out investment banks, commercial banks, and insurance giant AIG. So far, more than $700 billion has been committed to repair and restore the capital markets. Hear any mention of investing in labor?Meanwhile, the massive public works program that President-elect Barack Obama is previewing suggests job-generating engines in repairing roads, bridges, schools, and new energy technologies. Hear any mention of investing in workers?Economics 101 says that both capital and labor are essential. Today's vacuum in labor policy leadership in the lame duck administrationcreates no counterbalance to the dominance of capital-oriented solutions. Consequently, the nation could miss the imperative to bring labor policy into the 21st century.The next secretary of labor should think big and act aggressively. There should be a commitment of roughly $1 trillion in workers to balance the expenditures for capital market bailouts and the economic stimulus. Current labor policy looks backward instead of forward. An infusion of tax dollars to kick-start the economy by funding repairs of roads and bridges worked in the 1930s. The nation invested in construction jobs when the workforce had a large number of modestly educated, manual laborers. Back then we needed infrastructure such as the Quabbin reservoir and the Stoneham Pumping Station, the electric power of the TVA, and roadways to transport goods.Today's economy is knowledge-based, relying on brains more than brawn. The Obama administration has an opportunity to develop the labor force of this century.First, it should establish a massive, say $350 billion, student loan program. Student loans dried up in the recent credit crunch. Now is not the time to curtail our national educational agenda; it is precisely the time to stimulate this investment. Why not guarantee access to public higher education to every person who has the grades, test scores, and commitment to enhance her or his educational credentials? Growth in student enrollments will stimulate jobs for educators and researchers. Financial support for students attending the 1,200 community colleges throughout America would add workers now in short supply in healthcare institutions and medical laboratories, along with technicians needed in information technology and biotechnology. The Obama administration should seize this opportunity to ratchet up America's education of a world-class labor force.Second, the administration should allocate $250 billion for equity salary adjustments. Employers would have one-time access to the pool if they agree to assess each job for the skill, experience, and degree of responsibility it requires; pay roughly the same for jobs with similar requirements; and publicly post the pay for each job. By paying for the job - and not who does it - the effects of racial, gender, and age discrimination in workers' wages can essentially be eliminated. The State of Minnesota pays women workers 97 cents for every dollar men make. Imagine how much more productive workers would be when they know they are being paid fairly. This is a deep, nagging problem in practically every workplace in America today. Seize this opportunity to enable today's workers to get paid what they earn and deserve.Third, the adminstration should allocate $300 billion to nonprofit organizations to hire workers ages 55 to 70, many of whom will continue to work because their savings and 401(k) plans recently took big hits. They have skills and experience that nonprofits need. The nonprofit sector, an increasingly important contributor to the nation's economy and to the quality of our society, relies heavilyon philanthropic support. With the recent losses in portfolios, those who have financially supported nonprofits are likely to curtail their generosity for many years.These initiatives put money in the pockets of the American workers. They enable them to be more productive and to add value intheir workplaces. Experts say we have to restore the credit markets so that Americans can start spending again. These investments will enable workers to feel more assured that their earning power justifies their spending. The Obama administration needs to have labor policy that fits the times, builds a labor force competitive on the world stage, and puts labor on a par with capital in national public policy discourse.Evelyn F. Murphy, former lieutenant governor of Massachusetts, is president of the WAGE project.© Copyright 2008 Globe Newspaper Company.
WAGE GRASSROOTS SURGE IN 20081. A Successful Year 1 For $tart $mart.After piloting $tart $mart -- the WAGE workshop teaching college women (and a few men) how to get paid what they are worth in their first job after graduation --in late 2007, $mart workshops were held on forty five campuses throughout the United States. In a dozen states stretching from Wyoming and Arizona, through Oklahoma and Michigan, up to Maine and then southward along the Atlantic to Virginia, over a thousand college women participated in this two and one half hour, hard "work", workshop. They gave rave reviews to their exposure to the nuts-and-bolts of salary negotiation. Already higher educational institutions Alfred, Babson, Clark, Casper, Central Connecticut State, Maine and Southern Maine have incorporated $mart workshops into their own schedules. Other colleges plan to do so in 2009.2. A Grassroots Corps of Trained Facilitators for Future $mart Campus WorkshopsIn sixteen states, WAGE trained eighty eight facilitators to conduct $tart $mart workshops in 2009. Almost half of these facilitators are campus staff who will ensure that $mart workshops become common offerings at their schools. The other facilitators are members of organizations such as the AAUW, BPW, YWCA, Women's Foundations and Commissions, and Career Centers. Under the direction of WAGE staff, this cadre of facilitators enables WAGE to extend our capacity to bring $mart workshops to campuses.3.Work $mart, Return $mart and Job $mart Workshops Piloted. WAGE developed and piloted three additional workshops in 2008. Work $mart for professional women looking for raises and promotions was piloted for academics at Boston University School of Public Health, for women lawyers by the New Hampshire Women's Bar and for women scientists by the Boston MA Chapter of American Women In Science. Under the sponsorship of the National Women's Law Center, WAGE also conducted a Work $mart webinar for which 1000 women registered.Return $mart, created for women reentering the workforce after an extended absence, was piloted with the Maine Centers for Women Work and Community. Due to the strong response from participants in the pilot phase, facilitators have been trained to deliver this workshop nationwide. Job $mart is for high school seniors, many of whom go directly into the workforce. This workshop was piloted with outstanding young women in Casper, Wyoming, most of whom do plan on continuing their education.4. A Variety of Models in Grassroots Leadership$mart workshops have been adopted through a variety of initiatives, all of which WAGE applauds and supports. In Wyoming, through the leadership and financial support of the Wyoming Women's Foundation, WAGE workshops have been offered on every campus. In Arizona, the Maricopa County YWCA is the linchpin and leader in providing $tart, Work and Return $mart workshops. With the help of WAGE Project ME member organizations, the Maine Women's Fund and the Women's Employment Issues Committee of the state's Dept of Labor, all public campuses in Maine are able to offer $mart workshops. In Connecticut, strong leadership from the YWCA and AAUW has enabled many facilitators to be trained and campuses recruited for wor shops. After Chicago formed the first WAGE Hub, Oklahoma followed their lead and is actively planning workshops. AAUW members in Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and New York have actively promoted and supported campus workshops.5. Outreach to Educate Younger Women through Girl ScoutsWAGE collaborated with the Girl Scouts of Maine to develop a patch program for Brownies called VALYOU!. The goal of the program is to teach girls to value their self-worth and understand the beginning steps of money and savings, negotiation and goal setting. The program will be piloted in Maine in January 2009 with the Girl Scout Councils in Massachusetts, Wyoming and Montana ready to adopt the program after our pilot.6. Northeastern University of Law School Students Build Website's State Laws on Gender Discrimination For the fourth year, law students in the Legal Skills in Social Context program at Northeastern University School of Law added in-depth information on state statutes pertaining to gender discrimination. Thanks to the students in this program, the WAGE website provides the only state-by-state resource ofgender discrimination statutes available on the internet. In addition, students interviewed key participants in the consent decree involving the Boston Police Department's hiring and promotion of minorities and researched legal documents related to this decree. Their report offered insights into the extent to which aspects of race-related consent decrees could be applied in gender discrimination consent decrees.7. Research on the Applicability of Race Discrimination Consent Decrees To Gender Discrimination DecreesSince the publication of Getting Even: Why Women Don't Get Paid Like Men and What To Do About It, WAGE has explored the potential for consent decrees to reduce and eliminate gender discrimination in workplaces. In collaboration with the Institute for Women's Policy Research, under a grant from the Ford Foundation, WAGE analyzed the applicability of the Boston Police Department's consent decree in gender discrimination cases, identified 200 race-related consent decrees for potential comparison with gender discrimination decrees, and conducted preliminary research on the American Express Financial Advisors gender-based consent decree.8. $hop $mart Store Opens WAGE invites you to wear pay equity proudly. The $hop $mart store opened in November in time for holiday shopping. To begin shopping go to www.wageproject.org (http://www.wageproject.org/). On the homepage, just click on "Visit the New WAGE Store: $hop $mart". The store offers wonderful gifts for family and friends that are meaningful and fun as well as financial support for the work of WAGE. Items with the $tart $mart logo will make perfect graduation presents next spring for young women in your life about to enter the world of work.9. Influence in Grassroots Public DialogueWAGE's works hard to encourage grassroots discussion about how women can get paid fairly. Here are some examples of important publicforums in which WAGE played a key role. In June 2008, the Center for Women in Politics & Public Policy at the University of Massachusetts Boston hosted an all day conference entitled Mind the Gap: Women Work and Wages. After playing a key role in shaping the agenda for the conference, WAGE staff delivered both a keynote address to several hundred women and conducted a training session for facilitators. At the annual meeting of the Illinois State Business and Professional Women, WAGE President Evelyn Murphy delivered the keynote speech about gender wage discrimination. In response to a WAGE presentation on the gender wage gap to the staff and faculty of the University of Massachusetts Medical School, Acting Chancellor Michael Collins committed the 13,000 employees of the hospital and medical school to a pay equity program similar to the pioneering role of the state of Minnesota. In September, WAGE's National Director of Campus and Community Initiatives Annie Houle led two workshops at the Career andTechnical Education and Equality Council's conference in Tulsa, OK on economic self-sufficiency and gender equity. 10. A Peek at 2009Here's a preview of some initiatives planned for next year: a pilot of a Latina $tart $mart workshop for Spanish speaking women on campuses; a national alliance with significant extension of Wage's grassroots presence; workshop expansion into another dozen states; a workshop for international students; and a conference featuring $mart success stories. While national advocacy organizations worked to advance important pay equity legislation through Congress and State Houses, WAGE built public dialogues and brought about individual actions by women to get paid fairly in workplaces throughout the country. The combination ofbottom-up and top-down activities raised awareness of gender pay equity in 2008 higher than it has been in recent years.We are optimistic that 2009 will be a year of important gains in reducing the gender wage gap. Stay tuned!11. Special Thanks. WAGE extends its sincere gratitude to many people who have contributed financially to our activities, most especially the Linda Glenn Charitable Trust, the Virginia Hodgkins Sommers Foundation, and the Maine Women's Fund. WAGE has had a terrific year thanks to many of you who have made our work easier and most rewarding. With best wishes for your happiness, good health, and fulfillment in 2009.The WAGE Project
$MART WORKSHOPS NOW NATIONWIDEIn just one fast-paced year, The WAGE Project has catapulted $martWorkshops from having a presence in all the Northeast states into a nationwide presence. Hundreds of women, and a few men,participated in $tart $mart, Work $mart and Return $mart workshops in Wyoming, Arizona, Oklahoma, Michigan, and Virginia in addition to our continued offerings in Maine, New York, Massachusetts and Connecticut.Here are some highlights:WYOMING- THE EQUALITY STATE ON ITS WAY TO BECOMING THE EQUITY STATE!Thanks to a generous grant from the Wyoming Women's Foundation, WAGE was able to present $tart $mart or Return $mart workshops on 5 campuses and pilot our new high school workshop, Job $mart, to Kelly Walsh High School in Casper. Other sponsors of the WAGE Equity Road Trip were the University of Wyoming Women's Studies Department, UW Family and Consumer Sciences, Career and Advising Services from UW, Gillette College, Western Wyoming Community College and the Board of Community Education Services. We also trained 40 men and women to become $mart Facilitators. Many of those we trained were from Wyoming Workforce Development Services. Because the wage disparity is so large in Wyoming -Wyoming women make 66 cents for every dollar a man makes- the Foundation is committed to underwriting the education of women across the state to negotiate for the wages they deserve. Richelle Keinath, Executive Director of the Foundation said, “There are several ways to address the wage gap in Wyoming. To help young women understand how to benchmark for a competitive salary and to educate them about how the wage gap happens is one very important way to begin to change wage disparity.” Board member, Christy Ethridge said, “If you don't know, you can't fix it. Education to young women just entering the workforce is crucial to the families of the next generations."Annie Houle, National Director of Campus and Community Initiatives for WAGE and Richelle traveled across the state delivering workshops and facilitator trainings at the University of Wyoming in Laramie, The Board of Continuing Education Services in Evanston, Western Wyoming College in Rock Springs, Casper College in Casper, Gillette College in Gillette and a distance learning hookup to Sheridan College.Under discussion are ways to incorporate $mart workshops on campuses and to spread the workshops to other organizations in the state including CLIMB Wyoming, a program that trains and places single mothers in primarily non-traditional jobs. This was Annie Houle’s second visit to Wyoming, and she was thrilled to see the sustained leadership of the Foundation, the enthusiasm of the campuses where WAGE previously presented and the excitement at the new sites. WAGE is pleased to have the new high school program now available. Students in Evanston, Wyoming doing a role play exerciseMARICOPA COUNTY YWCA TAKES THE LEAD IN OFFERING $MART WORKSHOPS TO ALL WOMEN IN PHOENIXIn late October, led by Development Director,Tina Bronson, and Program Coordinator, Jessica Shea, the Maricopa County YWCA hosted a week long opportunity for women in Phoenix, AZ to participate in a $mart Workshop. Two Work $mart workshops and one Return $mart workshop were held in the Maricopa County YWCA offices. A $tart $mart workshop was presented on the campus of Arizona State University. Participants were so enthusiastic that WAGE has agreed to return to do a large scale Work $mart workshop at a breakfast in February 2009. The Maricopa YWCA will be the convener of all $mart workshops in the future, building alliances with other women’s groups and service organizations in Maricopa County through which these workshops can be provided. WAGE is pleased to have this partnership with the Maricopa YWCA and looks forward to a long, effective alliance. TIDEWATER COMMUNITY COLLEGE AND OLD DOMINION UNIVERSITY INTRODUCE $MART WORKSHOPS IN VIRGINIAIn November, at the invitation of Morel Fry, President of the Women's Caucus at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA, WAGE conducted a Work $mart workshop for several dozen faculty and staff. Later that day, under the direction of Assistant Director of the ODU Women’s Center, Gretchen Edwards & Bodmer, WAGE conducted a $tart $mart workshop for 25 students. Director Julie Dodd attended the workshop and has discussed with WAGE how to continue offering this workshop in the future. The following day, under the able and committed leadership of Lee Ellen Knight, Educational Programming & Communications Coordinator of the Women's Center, at Tidewater Community College (TCC), WAGE conducted a $tart $mart workshop at the Virginia Beach campus. For those not familiar with this part of the country, the combined enrollment of these two academic institutions is currently over 60,000 students, a potential to influence women’s pay not lost on WAGE! Workshops were held in the spring at Hollins University in Roanoke and the trained staff of the Career Center, Tina Rolen and Susan Perry, will be presenting more workshops in the spring of 2009.WAGE HEADS TO THE UPPER PENINSULA OF MICHIGANMichigan Technological University in Houghton, MI invited WAGE to present the $tart $mart Workshop to their students on October 29th. Annie Houle lead a wonderful group of young women and men engineers in a lively presentation assisted by newly trained facilitator Kerri Sleeman, Director of the Center for Orientation, Mentoring, Parents and Academic Student Success. Ms. Sleeman was so inspired by $mart $tart that she has three more workshops planned on campus and is talking to regional campuses about presenting it for them. Whilethere, Houle had the opportunity to attend the branch meeting of Business and Professional Women [BPW] and talk about the WAGE Project and ways they might collaborate.SECOND ROUND CAMPUSESOne year of workshop experience has led some academic institutions already to reintroduce the $tart $mart workshop to their students. Amy Jacobson, Director of the Women’s Leadership Center of Alfred University in Alfred, NY took the lead in this initiative to conduct another $tart $mart workshop in early fall 2008. In November, WAGE returned to Bentley University in Waltham, MA to conduct a second $tart $mart workshop jointly sponsored by the Women's Leadership Center and Career Services. Director of the Women’s Leadership Center leader, Marianne Delpo Kulow, and Susan Brennan, Director of Career Undergraduate Services actively participated in the workshop filled with highly engaged students. Babson College’s Center for Women’s Leadership [CWL] under the leadership of Jan Shubert, conducted a $mart $tart Workshop for students on December 2nd. In addition, three members of the CWL staff were trained as $mart Facilitators.ONE THOUSAND REGISTERED FOR A WORK $MART WEBINARUnder the sponsorship of the National Women’s Law Center(NWLC) ,WAGE conducted a two-part, lunchtime webinar for working women throughout the country. Over one thousand women registered for the webinar, more than twice the levels of registration for previous NWLC webinars. The first week’s one hour lunch break focused on benchmarking the salary of the currently employed woman; followed bynegotiation tips for raises and promotions the next week. The unusual level of registration reinforced for WAGE the interest that working women have in this issue.FACILITATORS ON THE MOVETrained facilitators are now leading workshops! Tori Fitzgerald led her first $tart $mart workshop at the University of Massachusetts Boston campus. Johanna Malinowski led a successful workshop at Housatonic Community College, in Bridgeport, Connecticut. Micki Davis, Director of the Community Engagement and Volunteering Center at Clark University, facilitated a $tart $mart workshop on her campus in Worcester, MA for the second time and has other workshops planned. Since the summer of 2008, WAGE has trained over 60 facilitators who are now approaching campuses to schedule workshops for the springof 2009. Stay tuned!
WAGE Announces Spring 2009 Workshop and Facilitator Training ScheduleBelow are the workshops and facilitator training sessions scheduled for the spring of 2009. If you are interested in attending one of these, please contact Annie Houle email@example.com for more information. Please note the workshops that are being presented by our $mart Facilitator Team [in green!]. We extend a special thanks and congratulations to those who have contacted campuses and done the work required to present $tart $mart workshops.February8th- Women, Work and Community- Bangor, ME- Susan Russell10th- Mount Saint Mary, Poughkeepsie, New York- Sharon Clarke and Irene Keyes10th- Facilitator Training for Women Unlimited, Augusta, ME- Annie Houle14th- Facilitator Training- Portland, ME- Annie Houle17th- University of Maine, Orono, Maine- Annie Houle 24th- Mount Saint Mary- Poughkeepsie, NY- Sharon Clarke and Irene Keyes28th- York Adult Education, York, ME- Katie Schindler and Amy PhalonMarch6th- Eastern Maine Community College- Bangor, ME- Annie Houle24th Cape Cod Community College- West Barnstable, MA, Cape Cod,MA- Pam Pollack and Kristen Whitfield25th- Worcester Polytechnic Institute- Worcester, MA- Shelly Nicholson25th- Return $mart-York, ME's Women, Work and Community's March Money Mini Series- Ruth Graves27th, 28th- Tradeswomen Conference- Augusta, Maine- Annie Houle and facilitators 30th- Loyola University Chicago School of Law- Chicago,IL- Annie Houle31st- Illinois Institute of Technology- Workshop and Facilitator Training-Chicago, IL- Annie HouleApril1st- Michigan Technological University, Houghton, MI - Kerri Sleeman3rd- Alfred University Women's Leadership Academy- Alfred, NY- Amy Jacobson 7th- University of Maine- Presque Isle, ME- Annie Houle7th- Worcester Polytechnic Institute -Worcester, MA- Shelly Nicholson 9th- Oklahoma State University- Stillwater, OK- Annie Houle10th- University of Oklahoma- Norman, OK- Workshop and Facilitator Training- Annie Houle and Kathy Moxley11th-Michigan Technological University, Houghton, MI-National Society of Black Engineers,Black Student Association, and African Student Association- Kerri Sleeman13th- WorcesterPolytechnic Institute - Worcester,MA - Shelly Nicholson13th- Wellesley College, Wellesley, MA- Evelyn Murphy14th- University of Massachusetts/Amherst- Amherst, MA-Evelyn Murphy14th- University of Southern Maine,Portland, ME-Annie Houle, Lyndsay Santeusanio and Mary Anne Benson15th- University of Connecticut- Storrs, CT- Annie, Kathy Fischer and Kathy Holgerson17th- Central Connecticut State University workshop and training, New Britain, CT- Annie Houle17th- Trinity College- Hartford, Connecticut -Rachael Sabbath 22nd- Higher Ed Center, Eastern Maine Community College, Dover Foxcroft, ME, Annie Houle23rd- University of Maine/ Augusta, Augusta, ME- Annie Houle24th- Trinity College- Hartford, Connecticut- Rachael Sabbath 24th-25th- New York AAUW State Conference, Bolton Landing, NY-Annie Houle27th-29th- North Dakota State University, Moorhead State College- Facilitator Training -Moorhead, MN and Fargo, ND- Annie Houle28th- University of Massachusetts/Dartmouth- Dartmouth, MA- Juli ParkerMay 8th-Bentley University,Waltham, MA Gearing Up Conference- Evelyn Murphy16th-Business and Professional Women's Michigan State Conference, Return $mart, Boyne Mountain Resort, Boyne Falls, MI - Kerri SleemanWe want to mention two notes of explanation about the above schedule. Last fall, the Maine Women's Fund awarded The WAGE Project a grant to sponsor $tart $mart workshops on as many campuses in Maine as possible. This support resulted in the large representation of Maine educational institutions in the spring schedule. In addition, local AAUW chapters have successfully gained grants from the national AAUW Foundation which has enabled many AAUW members to become trained facilitators and to schedule workshops this spring. As you can see, such collaborations produce solid grassroots activities.Nationwide WAGE Speaking Commitments Spring 2009The Women's Leadership Connection of the Newburyport(MA) Chamber of Commerce invited WAGE President Evelyn Murphy to kick of their spring luncheon series on March 16, 2009.The following week, at the invitation of Massachusetts Bay Community College's OneBook Project, Dr. Murphy will address the campus on March 25, 2009. The One Book project is a common reading exercise where students, faculty, staff and members of the community read a shared test and participate in activities surrounding that text. This year's project focuses on Barbara Ehrenreich's book Nickel and Dimed. Drawing from her book Getting Even and the material in WAGE workshops, Evelyn Murphy will demonstrate what women can do to better their paychecks.On April 4, 2009, WAGE President, Evelyn Murphy will be the featured speaker at the dinner of Alabama AAUW's annual convention in Montgomery Alabama. State President, Joann Cummings has a keen interest in WAGE workshops after encountering the webinar Ms. Murphy conducted under the auspices of the National Women's Law Center in October 2008.April 6, 2009, Evelyn Murphy will deliver the closing keynote address to the day long Women's Economic Summit at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell. Murphy's address will consolidate the lessons from earlier speakers including Alison Maitland, former London Financial Times journalist and Congresswoman Nikki Tsongas into actions women must take to achieve financial equity.On April 16, 2009, Evelyn Murphy will speak to women lawyers at the Women's Legal Forum in Saratoga, Wyoming. She will be joined in her session by the Governor's policy analyst, Katie Hogarty. This is the third trip to Wyoming by WAGE. In two previous trips, Annie Houle has conducted 9 workshops on campuses throughout the state and 5 training sessions for facilitators. WAGE now has 29 trained facilitators in the state, carrying on $mart workshops. In the newest version of $mart workshops, Annie Houle will introduce a Trade $mart workshop at the 4th Annual Maine Tradeswomen's Conference in Augusta, Maine on March 28th. She will be assisted by trained Women Unlimited staff. The conference also features hands-on workshops in masonry, tile laying, rebar tying and green building. Annie Houle will be a speaker and workshop presenter at the AAUW's New York State Conference in Bolton Landing, NY, April 24th through the 26th. Evelyn Murphy addressed their annual convention in April 2007 in Saratoga Springs. Starting with contacts made at that convention, WAGE and AAUW chapters in New York have built an extensive collaboration in communities like Alfred, Poughkeepsie, Johnstown, Albany, Buffalo, and Binghamton.In a preview of fall activities, on Sunday October 11, 2009, Murphy will address the annual meeting of the Association of Women Surgeons in Chicago, Illinois. With growing awareness of their own gender wage gap, women physicians have also invited Murphy to talk at University of Pennsylvania and the Brigham & Women's Hospital in Boston, MA.Women Unlimited Trains StaffFour staff members of Women Unlimited, including their Executive Director, Elizabeth Jamison, were trained as Facilitators by Annie Houle. Their emphasis will be women returning to the workforce after receiving training in non-traditional fields such as welding, construction and truck driving. Women Unlimited is a non profit organization serving the state of Maine with education and training in the trades, technical fields and transportation. They offer both basic and advanced training, job-placement assistance, advocacy, and networking opportunities. We are pleased to be working with this dynamic group and look forward to bringing relevant wage information to their trainees.Evelyn Murphy Interviewed on National Public RadioOn February 9th, Evelyn Murphy was interviewed on Philadelphia's NPR radio station WHYY on Radio Times with Marty Moss-Coane. The counterpoint was provided by Diana Furtchgott- Roth, a noted conservative economist. You can listen to it online by going to: http://www.whyy.org , and listen to the archived program. Click on "Take a Look" from the column on the left. This will take you to the archived shows. Click on "Radio Times" and you can then look for Monday Feb 9th, second hour (11am).
WAGE GOES TO THE WHITE HOUSEYesterday, at the invitation of the President of the United States Barak Obama, WAGE President Evelyn Murphy attended the signing of his first bill, The Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, in the East Room of the White House.As leading Senators and Congressional delegates entered the room for the ceremony,including House Speaker Pelosi and Vice President Biden, a spontaneous applause erupted for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, acknowledgement by the activists of her leading role in advancing this legislation. Then, Lily Ledbetter and President Obama entered to hearty and moving applause. The President spoke of the importance of this legislation not only for all workers, but also as a statement of our values as Americans. Then he said he was signing this for his daughters and their future as well as today's workers.But it was Lily Ledbetter's remarks which gave the moment its full power. She acknowledged that she would never recover one penny of the salary she lost and the pension she cannot enjoy from years of unfair paychecks. Then, she said that she never imagined that her ten year journey in litigation for equal treatment would result in this moment. In her decent, unpretentious voice, she said that she was glad this bill would help protect other women.At the reception afterward, First Lady Michelle Obama talked about Lily Ledbetter accompanying the family on the campaign trail and at the inauguration. Her fondness for this remarkable woman was apparent. Throughout the ceremonies and reception, WAGE President Evelyn Murphy had the opportunity to update the women leaders who attended the event about our campus workshops. We will follow-up on many, many inquiries to conduct $tart $mart workshops,in particular,in coordination with the campus initiative of the Feminist Majority, and the Eagleton Institute's Center for Women and Politics at Rutgers.This event restored hope among many activists that we can eliminate unfair and unequal treatment of working women. As Lily Ledbetter said in her closing comments, "next we must get the Paycheck Fairness Act passed." And the room exploded with a cheer.Click on the following link to view President Obama's remarks at the signing of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act: http://vimeo.com/3011712 )
Sunday, January 27, 2008
$tart $mart Campus Workshops Booked for Spring 2008Over 20 colleges and universities have booked the $tart $mart Workshops for their campuses this spring. Below is the list of schools and dates. If your school is interested in having a workshop on your campus, WAGE is scheduling schools for the fall of 2008. Michigan Technical University in Houghton, Michigan is the first school on our fall schedule.$tart $mart Campus Workshops Spring 2008• Alfred University- Alfred, NY- March 20th • American University- Washington, DC- April 22nd • Babson College- Babson Park, MA- March 25th • Bentley College- Waltham, MA- April 1st • Boston College- Boston, MA- March 26th • Bridgewater State College- Bridgewater, MA- April 1st • Bryant University- Smithfield, RI- April 9th• Casper College, Casper, Wyoming- April 1st • Central Connecticut State University- New Britain, CT- March 12th • Clark University- Worcester, MA- April 8th • Dutchess County Community College- NY- March 4th • Harvard University- Cambridge, MA- March 11th • Hollins University- Roanoke, VA- Feb 19th• Laramie County Community College- Cheyenne, Wyoming- March 31st • Marist- Poughkeepsie, NY plus other area schools-March 5th • Massassoit Community College- Massassoit, MA- April 14th • Middlebury College- Middlebury, VT –date pending• Northwest Community College, Powell, Wyoming- April 2nd • Roxbury Community College- Roxbury, MA –April 8th • University of Connecticut- Storrs, CT- March 2nd • University of Southern Maine- Portland, ME- April 22nd • Vassar – Poughkeepsie, NY- March 5th • Wellesley College- Wellesley, MA- April 4th • Worcester Polytechnic Institute – Worcester, MA- April 7th • University of Wyoming – Laramie, Wyoming- March 28thWAGE Is Recruiting $tart $mart FacilitatorsThe WAGE Project is recruiting women to be trained as facilitators during the spring workshops listed above. These facilitators will then help conduct the fall $tart $mart Campus Workshops in our ever- expanding presence on college campuses throughout America. Qualification for being a $tart $mart workshop FacilitatorTo be considered as a $mart $tart facilitator, one must have passion around the topic. Potential facilitators should also have some training experience and be recommended by their organization. Because the workshop is compact and delivers a large amount of information in a limited time, potential facilitators must be flexible and fast on their feet. They must have the ability to listen and respond to audience questions and be constantly aware of audience understanding of materials presented. The $tart $mart workshops are scripted so potential facilitators must be willing to deliver the program as written in order to ensure consistency and quality.Those interested in becoming a $tart Smart facilitator must complete an application form and submit their resume. This information must also be accompanied by two letters of recommendation, one from the organization they represent and the other from a participant in a training or workshop they conducted. A selection team will review and evaluate all applications to ensure excellence. If you are interested in becoming a $tart $mart Workshop Facilitator, please contact Annie Houle at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 207-899-2883.WAGE Heads to Wyoming!Annie Houle, National Director of Campus and Community Initiatives for the WAGE Project heads to Wyoming the end of March to deliver 4 $tart $mart Campus Workshops and begin a WAGE Hub there. It is appropriate that WAGE works with Wyoming as their official motto is The Equality State. Wyoming was also the first state to grant the vote to women!The schools which are sponsoring $tart $mart workshops are:• University of Wyoming, Laramie on March 28• Laramie County Community College, Cheyenne on March 31• Casper College, Casper on April 1• Northwest Community College, Powell on April 2The Hub date is yet to be decided. If you are in the area of one of these workshops and wish to attend, please contact Annie for more details.
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Negotiating salaries is a challenge for women at all stages of their careers, as women are less likely than men to ask for what they want. The WAGE Project piloted $tart $mart Campus Initiative on 9 college campuses in the fall of 2007 to empower young women starting their careers to avoid the gender wage gap. This initiative provided women who are college juniors and seniors with knowledge and skills when approaching the job market to negotiate salaries and benefits to receive fair and realistic compensation. Follow-up coaching and mentoring will be provided by volunteers from collaborating partners. The WAGE Project will conduct over 20 $tart $mart Workshops in the spring of 2008 in the schools listed below.$tart $mart Campus Initiative covers the following topics in a one three hour presentation:*The personal consequences of the gender wage gap: what a $1.2 million loss over one's working lifetime means.*Resources for benchmarking reasonable salaries and benefits: learn about job titles, their functions and salary ranges, the impact of market realities on salaries; compare skills and accomplishments to job requirements and market to target a realistic salary range.*Negotiation: how to aim high and be realistic; practice negotiation through role play exercises.*Know your bottom line: develop a "bare bones" budget to pay rent, buy groceries, repay student loans, and other basic expenses.The WAGE Project is in the process of replicating the initiative on college campuses across the country in partnership with local collaborators. The model will also be adapted and piloted for use with all working women in partnership with local YWCAs, BPW and AAUW chapters, State Commissions on Women, and other grassroots organizations serving low-income women. Other workshops being developed and made available in 2008 are:*Professionally $mart- These are workshops for women in specific professions. The WAGE Project has been asked to develop a workshop for benchmarking and salary negotiation for women in academia; another for women scientists, a third for women librarians and another for women attorneys. These workshops will be piloted in the next six months and focus on raises, job changes, pay equity salary adjustments, and raises associated with promotions. As we progress, we will also consider other professions that are suggested to us.*Return $mart- These are benchmarking and salary negotiation workshops for women who are returning to work after being at home. Women who dropped out of full time work for a few years to raise children are one audience. Women who have to return to the workforce because they became widowed, their husbands became disabled, or their marriages ended in divorce or separation or other return-to-work women can benefit from these workshops.*Working $mart- This workshop focuses on women already in the workforce who are facing discrimination and other job related issues. Benchmarking and salary negotiating will be covered in this workshop as well as other subjects that will enable this group to not only receive fair pay, promotions and benefits, but give them tools to help further their careers and address work issues successfully. This workshop should be available early spring of 2008.We have collaborated with Salary.com, and they have developed a salary calculator that sits on our website www.wageproject.org. This is used to provide women with the salary ranges for jobs with their skills in various areas of the country. It also calculates actual salaries and discusses benefits. The calculator is used in all workshops, but can be helpful to any women considering salary negotiation.The WAGE Project believes that reaching women with valid information and resources at the beginning of their careers will help eliminate the wage gap and enable women to reach for top salaries. We also believe that no one can negotiate until they understand their worth, their needs, the going salaries for jobs of their choice and comprehend how benefits and deductions will affect their pay check. Knowledge gives us the power to ask for what we deserve.For additional information about the $tart $mart Campus Initiative and pilot sites or any of the other $mart Workshops, please contact Annie Houle, National Director of Campus and Community Initiatives, at email@example.com or by phone at 207-899-2883.-$tart $mart Campus Workshops Spring 2008-Alfred University- Alfred, NY- March 20-American University- Washington, DC- April 22-Babson College- Babson Park, MA- March 25th-Bentley College- Waltham, MA- April 1-Boston College- Boston, MA- March 26-Bridgewater State College- Bridgewater, MA- April 1st-Bryant University- Smithfield, RI- April 9th-Central Connecticut State University- New Britain, CT- March 12th-Clark University- Worcester, MA- April 8th-Dutchess County Community College- NY- March 4th-Harvard University- Cambridge, MA- March 11-Hollins University- Roanoke, VA- Feb 19th-Marist- Poughkeepsie, NY plus other area schools- March 5th-Massassoit Community College- Massassoit, MA- April 14th-Middlebury College- Middlebury, VT –date pending-Roxbury Community College- Roxbury, MA –April 8th-University of Connecticut- Storrs, CT- March 26-University of Southern Maine- Portland, ME- April 22nd-Vassar – Poughkeepsie, NY- March 5th-Wellesley College- Wellesley, MA- April 4th-Worcester Polytechnic Institute – Worcester, MA- April 7th-Wyoming State University and other Wyoming Schools - March 29th-April 3rd
WAGE Announces $tart $mart Facilitator TrainingThe WAGE Project will be on 25 campuses in the spring of 2008 and are recruiting women to be trained as facilitators of the $tart $mart Campus Workshops as we spread it to additional colleges and universities across the country in the fall of 2008 and beyond.Qualification for being a $tart $mart workshop Facilitator:To be considered as a $mart $tart facilitator, one must have passion around the topic. Potential facilitators should also have some training experience and be recommended by their organization. Because the workshop is compact and delivers a large amount of information in a limited time, potential facilitators must be flexible and fast on their feet. They must have the ability to listen and respond to audience questions and be constantly aware of audience understanding of materials presented. The $tart $mart workshops are scripted so potential facilitators must be willing to deliver the program as written in order to ensure consistency and quality.Those interested in becoming a $tart Smart facilitator must complete the attached application form and submit their resume. This information must also be accompanied by two letters of recommendation, one from the organization they represent and the other from a participant in a training or workshop they conducted. A selection team will review and evaluate all applications to ensure excellence.Participant Commitment:-Observe a $tart $mart Workshop presented by a certified trainer-Agree to memorize and use the $tart $mart workbook and materials provided during training-Read or skim Evelyn Murphy’s book “Getting Even”, and at least two other books on negotiation listed in the workshop materials-Recruit two additional campuses in your area, make arrangements in conjunction with the WAGE Project and conduct presentations.-Work with WAGE to develop additional materials as may be needed for workshops-Complete a self evaluation of workshop facilitation and submit to the WAGE ProjectParticipants will receive:-Training and support from the WAGE Project-Complete workbook including script, Facilitator Training Guide and all needed materials-Information about the WAGE Project, its history, mission and ongoing work-Coaching and mentoring before and after workshops by phone and at workshop attended-Network of peers to support ongoing work-Tips and instructor self evaluationIf you or someone you know is interested in being considered as a facilitator, please contact Annie Houle, WAGE Project’s Director of Campus Initiatives to receive an application at firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Saturday, September 29th, 2007 Annie Houle was invited to New Britain, Connecticut by the YWCA and AAUW to help them address the issue of wage inequity in their state. A WAGE Hub was formed and now engaged in impressive work described below. We applaud CT WAGE's hard work, initiatives and progress already in getting all Connecticut women paid fairly. Special thanks to Susan Hoover who is coordinating the Hub and to Carol Virostek who orchestrated the meeting in September. This hub exemplifies the power of women and women's organizations working together in strategic grassroots initiatives to eliminate the wage gap! Here is a recent article about this WAGE Hub published in the Nutmeg News, the AAUW state newsletter. PAY EQUITY AND THE GENDER WAGE GAP“Just one year out of college, women working full time already earn less than their male colleagues (80 percent), even when they work in the same field. Ten years after graduation, women fall farther behind, earning only 69 percent as much as men earn.” (American Association of University Women - Educational Foundation Research Report: "Behind the Pay Gap".) Surely one of the most vexing issues for women is the wage gap and what we can do to change it. Toward that end, AAUW is taking on an action project that is mission-based. That is, we will do things that will help women move closer to pay equity in the workplace. We're calling it CT WAGE.On a beautiful Saturday in September more than 70 Connecticut women gathered to reflect on the wage discrimination each of us have endured. The leader was Annie Houle who is the National Director of WAGE Campus and Community Initiatives. More importantly, we began strategizing about ways to improve conditions for our daughters and granddaughters and their families. Evelyn Murphy, author of "Getting Even: Why Women Don't Get Paid Like Men and What To Do About It" has written: “Over her lifetime, a woman will lose between $700,000 and $2 million. DON'T LET THAT HAPPEN TO YOU.” The $tart $mart Campus Initiative captured the interest of many of us who want to be trained to conduct these sessions on college campuses. These seminars, developed by author Evelyn Murphy, teach women how to negotiate their first job title and salary. To be trained to be a trainer you will attend a campus seminar, review the curriculum/script, and afterward meet with Evelyn Murphy or Annie Houle to fine tune your presentation technique. There are only two criteria for being trained: be passionate about the issue of equal pay for women and have some experience conducting educational or training sessions. Plans are underway for the pilot seminar to be conducted at Central Connecticut State University in February or March. Please contact me if you'd like to participate. Other projects branches have started include …..- The New Britain Branch didn't waste any time getting its Essay Contest into the schools in Berlin and New Britain, and some generous AAUW members contributed the prize money. - The Permanent Commission on the Status of Women is conducting a similar essay contest for high school students. The awardees will be recognized at the PCSW's annual Making Women Visible Day at the State Capitol in February.- The Bridgeport Branch is organizing a panel discussion to be held in the spring that will be open to the public addressing topics such as pay equity and financial security.- The Storrs/Willimantic Branch is working with students at Eastern Connecticut State University on the gender wage gap issue. I have been asked to be a speaker at their meeting in February.- The Danbury Branch is working with an after-school program for middle school girls to teach them about the importance of making informed choices regarding their school work and personal conduct as it relates to their future.- The Danbury Branch is also planning for a workshop on the issue of pay equity.- The New London Branch is establishing a committee to plan local activities on the issue of pay equity.The Permanent Commission on the Status of Women is taking the lead on organizing Equal Pay Day awareness on Tuesday, April 22, 2008.Other ideas that have been suggested that could be adapted to your branch ….. To get the conversation started, book groups or school classes could read the AAUW research and Evelyn Murphy's book for discussion. You could write an OpEd piece for your local newspaper based on the research and the book.What else can we do? The possibilities are endless. It's up to us. Susan HooverCT WAGECoordinatorsusnhoover@aol.com (mailto:email@example.com)For more information about these projects or how you can get involved, please contact Susan Hoover.If your state or location is interested in forming a WAGE Hub, please contact Annie Houle at firstname.lastname@example.org (mailto:email@example.com).
This is a first in a series of WAGE Pages dedicated to women who have taken a leadership role in working with the WAGE Project to eliminate the wage gap in their unique ways.In September of 2006, Evelyn Murphy and Annie Houle introduced the WAGE Project to a group of women in Chicago and suggested they form a WAGE Hub, a group of women’s organization and leaders dedicated to the elimination of the wage gap. According to Barbara Yong, “a spark was ignited in me that has continued to burn brighter every day. The mission of the WAGE Project -- of bringing attention to and eliminating the Wage Gap -- resonated deep within me. As a practicing attorney of over 25 years, I have personally experienced many of the inequities caused by gender discrimination. I was also naïve enough to silently put up with it. But, not any more.” With the help of Linda Henning Cohen, state president of the AAUW, Jennifer Wilkens of AAUW-IL, Jenifer Grady of ALA-APA, and several others, Barb took up the cause and became a founding member of the Illinois WAGE Hub and a spokesperson for the WAGE Project. As President of the Illinois Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW/IL), she has also made the wage gap one of the BPW’s focus issues for the year, encouraged all of the Local Organizations to join the WAGE Project and included Getting Even: Why Women Don’t Get Paid Like Men and What To Do About It as one of the four selections in the BPW/IL book club. She has also invited Evelyn Murphy to be the keynote speaker at the BPW/IL State Convention April, 2008. Since April of this year, Barb has spoken on the Wage Gap no less than 7 separate times at the following venues:-AAUW State Convention - Bloomington-Normal - workshop with Linda Henning Cohen - April 28th-Joint meeting of the LaGrange and Oak Brook BPW Clubs - Program speaker with Linda Henning Cohen – May 15th-Illinois Wage Hub Dinner - Speaker along with Jennifer Wilkens and Linda Henning Cohen of AAUW – July 26th-AAUW - Bloomington-Normal Women's Resources Expo at Illinois State University – Key note speaker – September 7th-Joint meeting of AAUW and BPW in Champaign-Urbana – October 23rd-Slivka fireside chat with women engineering students at Northwestern University – Evanston – November 26th-Pike County BPW Meeting in Pittsfield, Illinois – December 3rd And, still to come: -Panelist at Eastern Illinois University on January 22nd-Program speaker at the Charleston BPW meeting on January 22nd-Speaker at the Downtown Chicago BPW meeting - March 13th-Already, some of the women who have heard her speak on this issue have let Barb know that she’s made a huge difference in their salary negotiations.Atty. Yong has also put together a packet of information that she hands out when she speaks, including a quiz on the wage gap, a summary of state and federal pay equity legislation and the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire, a couple of AAUW position papers and other recent articles and her own list of what we can do to eliminate the wage gap.Barb says she ends each talk by telling the audience that between sharing what she knows about the wage gap and the materials she has given them in the handouts, they have just been trained to spread the message themselves.Linda Henning Cohen, incoming AAUW/IL state president, has also been a leader in the Hub activity and recently spoke at the November Lombard and Wheaton/Glen Ellyn joint AAUW meeting on the WAGE issue. The title of the program was "Show Me the Money," and she did the WAGE quiz and talked about wage clubs.Barb Yong will take over the leadership of the Illinois WAGE Hub from Jenifer Grady, who has headed it so ably since its inception. Jenifer has a beautiful new baby daughter, Gwen, who is getting lots of her attention now, but her mom will stay involved to see that when Gwen starts to work she will not face a wage gap.The WAGE Project thanks Jenifer Grady for her fine leadership and congratulates Barb Yong for the significant work she is doing in Illinois to get women paid what they deserve.
2007: WAGE in ReviewThe WAGE Project, Inc was busy in 2007!The year began with a national survey to hear directly from working women, in their own words, about their recent experiences with unfair or unequal treatment at work. Women's responses exceeded our expectations. Within ten weeks, more than seven hundred women had filled out the WAGE survey. Some were low and hourly wage earners like the caretaker in New Orleans and the head cashier in upstate NY; others were moderate-earning office managers, librarians, and information technology specialists; and high earning educators, physicians and lawyers. They worked in manufacturing, financial services, retail shops and communications; in hospitals, dentist's offices, health care agencies, colleges, universities, and social service organizations; and in municipal, state and federal government agencies.The major findings were as follows:1. 70% of respondents reported inequitable treatment at work; two out of three of whom attributed this treatment to gender bias and discrimination;2. More than half who reported inequitable treatment and pay took no action for fear of retaliation or because they were convinced their chance to improve their situation was hopeless; 3. Less than 5% of the women who tried to get paid and treated fairly, even with solid data to make their cases, achieved the equity they sought. 4. One in five (20%) women reported leaving or planning to leave her job because of this treatment. These women reported disturbing conditions that dampened productivity, morale and commitment to their employers. While not a random sample of all working women, the WAGE survey points out that gender discrimination is taking a serious toll on the nation's economic performance.The survey became part of Congressional testimony for workplace reforms. WAGE President Evelyn Murphy testified in support of the Paycheck Fairness Act in both houses of Congress, the first hearings on such legislation in 14 years. On April 12th, she testified on Senate 766 before the US Senate Committee on Health Education Labor and Pensions; on July 11th, before the US House of Representatives Subcommittee on Workforce Protections on House 1338. The Paycheck Fairness Act would make it illegal for employers to retaliate against workers if they discuss their salaries at work. The bill also creates incentives for training women in the skills of salary negotiation, requires the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to collect data on employer's salaries by gender, and instructs the Secretary of Labor to develop guidelines concerning jobs requiring similar skills, qualifications and experience. Passage of this legislation would greatly strengthen working women's capabilities to gain pay equity for themselves and their families.As a result of the survey, WAGE was invited to participate in Equal Pay Day activities on the West Lawn of the US Capitol Building in Washington DC in April. Joining leaders from national organizations with whom WAGE collaborates including the National Committee on Pay Equity, the AAUW, the BPW, Murphy urged the assembled crowd to work for passage of the Paycheck Fairness Act and the Fair Pay Act.WAGE worked all year on the research grant involving gender based consent decree sponsored by the Ford Foundation. WAGE is conducting this study of consent decrees as a means to inform working women about workplace practices and policies which have demonstrating effectiveness in curbing gender bias. In January, WAGE staff submitted a report to its partner in this research, the Institute for Women's Policy Research (IWPR), on the national expert panel meeting convened in Boston late 2006 to advise us on the research design for the study. The sample of cases to be studied was selected by the research team and then the IWPR, with input from WAGE, spent the year designing research protocols for interviews. Consent decree research is an outcome of preliminary work done by law students for WAGE during the last several years under guidance from Northeastern Law School Professor Maze-Rothstein, program director of the school's Legal Skills in Social Context (LSSC) program. In addition to their consent decree research, by spring 2007, law students in the LSSC program had added to the website detailed information concerning gender discrimination statutes in another four states. In the last three years of their collaboration, providing WAGE with 3000 hours of pro bono assistance, these students have analyzed statutes in 15 states -- AZ, CA, FL, IL, GA, MA, ME, MN, MO, NJ, NY, OH, TX, WA, WI and the District of Columbia. These pages of the WAGE website are the most thorough legal resource in the country to inform working women about their protections under state statutes. This year's LSSC law office identified the 20+ year consent decrees involving hiring and promotional practices in Boston Police Department to eliminate racial bias as potentially valuable lessons for the consent decree research project. Students are preparing interview formats for key participants in this consent decree to be conducted in 2008.WAGE leader Annie Houle successfully built WAGE Hubs throughout the year, engaging women from local women's organization in a variety of local educational and information efforts concerning the gender wage gap. She facilitated and supported Hub activities in metropolitan Chicago, statewide Hubs in Connecticut and Maine, regional Hubs in Massachusetts, and initiatives of local WAGE activists in upstate New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, Arizona, Rhode Island and Virginia. These grassroots initiatives are demonstrations of the many forms of concerted local efforts which raise awareness of the gender wage gap and offer women constructive ways to act on their own behalf to get paid and treated fairly. State and local chapters of YWCA, BPW, and AAUW have been tremendous partners in Hub initiatives.Another major initiative grassroots initiative WAGE pursued this year was $TART $MART. Designed during the summer of 2007, these workshops targeted woman students about to graduate to teach them how to benchmark salaries for the jobs they want and how to negotiate to secure the best starting salaries. Evelyn Murphy and Annie Houle conducted pilot workshops on nine campuses-Babson College, Bentley College, Boston College, Boston University, Regis College, Fletcher School of Tufts University, University of Maine, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, University of Pennsylvania. WAGE worked closely with Women's Studies Programs and professors, Women's Resource Centers and Career Services offices on these campuses to attract approximately 40 participants in each setting. On the strength of the evaluations submitted by students, WAGE scheduled workshops on 20campuses for the spring of 2008 to train students and build a cadre of instructors for the fall of next year.The co-branding of the salary calculator used in these workshops with Salary.com led our two organizations to develop a plan which will enable WAGE to promote future workshops and make individualized salary analyses more readily available to participants.WORK $MART, a similar workshop for working women to benchmarksalaries for their current jobs, the jobs they want, and learn the skills of gaining raises, promotions and equity adjustments, is under design. WAGE is working with the New Hampshire Women's Bar, the Boston University School of Public Health professors, the American Library Association and the Cambridge, MA Chapter of American Women in Science to offer WORK $MART workshops in the spring and summer of 2008. Katie Schindler managed the WAGE website, no small feat with over 4.8 million hits and over 83,000 visitors to the site in 2007. Once visitors get on the site, they use our information extensively! Ms. Schindler also produced our WAGE Page and reformatted it to be appealing and readable. Under the direction of Karin Anderson, WAGE engaged in fund raising initiatives during 2007, resulting in numerous individual contributions added to the generous sustained support from the Linda Glenn Charitable Trust. Robin Hodgskin's generosity underwrote the printing and material production for the pilot $TART $MART workshops. Jessica Esch contributed- in design and financial support-the Equal Pay buttons which are in hot demand. Finally, WAGE began reaching out to younger women. Annie Houle met with the Girl Scouts of Maine to develop a “valYOU” Patch for 2nd and 3rd grade Brownies that will address valuing self, the beginning steps of negotiation, understanding the value of money and savings, and goal setting. More on this in 2008!Thank you for your help, support and involvement with WAGE in 2007.We wish you health and good fortune in 2008.
Monday, January 21, 2008
WAGE Page November 30, 2007In late November, WAGE completed its fall 2007 pilot of $TART $MART Campus Workshops to teach college women how to benchmark the salaries of the jobs they want when they graduate and how to negotiate for that salary. In all, nine colleges and universities participated involving over 300 women and 3 men of varying ethnic origins and income. On every campus, evaluations submitted by participants gave this pilot rave reviews on format, content, pace and quality of instruction. We conclude that this workshop has great value for the target audience. We also conclude from comments at the end of the evaluations that participants were grateful for the opportunity to learn benchmarking and negotiating skills which they would not otherwise have received in the course of their academic experience. Below are some comments from campuses not included in the last WAGE Page:Bentley College- “ This is a great workshop to have, I am the type who is anxious about salary negotiation, but the workshop showed me a lot and I feel a little more comfortable about it.”University of Pennsylvania- “This workshop was extremely helpful. I had no idea how to negotiate salaries before this but now I feel I have a great start on benchmarking my salary and beginning to think about my strengths before I start looking for a job next year.”University of Maine, Orono- “I thought this was a great intro for women entering the working world. Gave me the confidence to go out there and discuss my stating salary and I plan to come again next week.”University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth- “Eye opening to how you can help yourself and not feel like its fatalistic and you have no control.”With some slight fine-tuning, WAGE plans to be on 20 campuses in the spring of 2008; and to start training instructors for a large scale campus presence in the fall of 2008. Recruitment has begun, and to date, the following schools have committed to be participants in the Spring 2008WAGEProject $tart $mart Campus Initiative:Bentley College, Waltham, MABridgewater State University, Bridgewater, MABryant University, Smithfield, RIClark University, Worcester, MAHollins University, Roanoke, VAHarvard University, Cambridge, MAWe are presently in negotiation with over 20 other schools, so if you know of a college or university that might be interested in sponsoring the $tart $mart Campus Initiative, please send the name of the school and a contact name to Annie Houle, National Director of Campus and Community Initiatives at firstname.lastname@example.org(mailto:email@example.com) or give her a call at 207-899-2883.Notes: Dr. Evelyn Murphy addressed a group of college students at Regis College during a $tart $mart Campus Workshop. Annie Houle at The University of Maine in Orono, conducted a presentation to students at a recent $tart $mart Campus Workshop
Read below what some students said about $tart $mart Campus Workshops held in October 2007. For information about how to bring the workshops to your campus, or to be trained to conduct this workshop, contact Annie Houle, National Director of WAGE Initiatives for the WAGE Project at firstname.lastname@example.org (mailto:email@example.com) or 207-899-2883.Fletcher School/Tuft's University grad students: “I think this is a very well designed program/presentation. As a graduate of a women's college [Bryn Mawr College] I would love to see the workshop offered to all female graduates."“I like that an instructor took us online to have us check out what salaries to expect for each job. I hadn't thought much about researching potential salaries and how to negotiate the salary I deserve.”Boston University students: "This workshop was really fabulous. I am inspired to get my $1 million. It really helped personalizing the WAGE gap. I am really excited about the next session!""I think the workshop helped me get a better idea about the wage gap problem and how to better evaluate my job skills. I think I need more exposure to this issue and would like to take part in more workshops."Boston College students: " Excellent workshop! This will be so helpful for my job search and I feel more confident to begin."“This was so helpful and taught me not to take the first offer, value yourself as a potential employee and get that million!"Babson College students: " This is very motivating. Helpful. I definitely need the courage to push this topic. I am an engineer and work in an ‘old boys club’ ". " The tools given to me this evening I will be using during my next review. It will be even more of a tool once I graduate and look for a new job."Regis College students: “I enjoyed this workshop and what I learned will be extremely valuable. I know in the future I will never settle for less, but instead aim high because I deserve it."“I think that the information and structure of this workshop was very helpful and allowed me for me to ask any questions and they were all answered.”
WAGE Connecticut Is Off and Running!Annie Houle, National Director of WAGE Clubs and Community Initiatives addressed more than sixty women in New Britain, Connecticut on September 29th. The event’s purpose was to bring the organizations and women leaders together to form a WAGE Hub and was sponsored by CT AAUW and the YWCA New Britain. A WAGE Hub is a group of women (and men if the group chooses) who represent and are members of local organizations committed to eliminating the gender wage gap in the area encompassed by their Hub.Representatives from over 25 organizations spent the morning learning about the gender wage gap and how it affects them personally, their families and their communities. The group then worked on plans and initiatives to address the wage gap working at tables to address the following questions:What event or activity would we “crave to” initiate to work at eliminating the gender wage gap in our area?Which group takes the lead? What would that group do?What does each other group at the table contribute to this initiative? When could your group do this event or activity?What else does your group need to make this event or activity a success?What roadblocks might your group face, if any, to prevent it from doing the idea you proposed, and how could your table surmount such roadblocks?At the end of the exercise, each table reported on their project and then the entire group was to select one project to begin their work. They unanimously choose all the projects, each table agreeing to take leadership on their proposal and WAGE Connecticut was born! WAGE CT joins WAGE Hubs in MA, ME, IL and another emerging in Phoenix, Arizona.AAUW member and former Women’s Commission employee, Susan Hoover, volunteered to be the coordinator for the Hub. Proposed projects for this Hub include promoting $tart $mart Campus Workshops on all Connecticut campuses, creating a Women’s WAGE Awareness Day, letter and op-ed writing campaigns, programs for middle school children about gender equity, mock negotiation exercises and sponsoring train the trainer workshops for WAGE’s $mart workshops.Carol Virostek, President, Connecticut AAUW was quoted as saying, "The conference to create our WAGE Hub - WAGE Connecticut - was enormously successful. With dozens of women's organizations and six colleges/universities represented - and with Susan Hoover, former staff member at the Permanent Commission on the Status of Women, as our coordinator - we know we have the enthusiasm and the energy to carry out the great ideas and projects that were generated."Many thanks to this wonderful group of women! If your region, state or organization is interested in hosting a WAGE Hub workshop, please contact Annie Houle at firstname.lastname@example.org (mailto:email@example.com).Susan Hoover, new coordinator of WAGE Connecticut, pictured with Annie Houle of The WAGE Project.Carol Virostek, President, Connecticut AAUW and Robin Sharp, Co-Executive Director, YWCA New Britain Dr. Gail Nordmoe, AAUW Vice President, AAUW/CT Diversity Issues Chair, professor at Sacred Heart University. Dr. Teresa Younger - Executive Director of the CT Permanent Commission on the Status of Women. Conference attendees working to develop WAGE activities and events
Friday, September 14, 2007
Start Smart workshops will help women get paid fairly when they graduate from college.Start Smart Campus Workshops Fall Schedule:Babson College, October 17th, 3 hour workshop [time undecided]Bentley College, November 14th, 3 hour workshop- 6:30 to 9:30 PMBoston College, October 3rd, 3 hour workshop- 6:00-9:00 PMBoston University, October 2nd and 16th- 6:00 to 8:00 PMFletcher School/Tufts, October 8th and 29th- 6:00 to 8:00 PM Howard Community College, MD, October 27th- 11AM to 1:00PMRegis College, October 23rd and November 5th, 6:00 to 8:00 PMUniversity of Maine, November 7th and 14th, 6:00 to 8:00 PMUMass/Dartmouth, November 6th and 19th, 6:00 to 8:00 PMUniversity of Pennsylvania, November 12th, 5:00 to 8:00 PM or 4:00 to 7:00 PMUniversity of Southern Maine, October 30th and November 13th [time undecided]Please contact Annie Houle at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Listen to an interview with Dr. Evelyn Murphy and Jean Stafford of Executive Coaching for Women, Inc. by clicking on this link. http://members.jeanstafford.com/feeds/072007.mp3 The interview may also be downloaded on your MP3 player for your convenience. Enjoy!
Sunday, July 15, 2007
Testimony of Evelyn F. Murphy Before the United States House of Representatives Subcommittee on Workforce ProtectionsRayburn Office Building, Room 2176 Washington, DC July 11, 2007Chairwoman Woolsey, Congresswoman DeLauro, members of the HouseSubcommittee on Workforce Protections, thank you for the opportunity to testify on H.1338, the Paycheck Fairness Act.I am Evelyn Murphy, a Ph. D. economist, President of The WAGE Project, anational nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating the gender wage gap, author of Getting Even: Why Women Don’t Get Paid Like Men and What To Do About It, Resident Scholar at the Women’s Studies Research Center at Brandeis University, acorporate director, and former Lt. Governor of Massachusetts.Gender Discrimination in Today’s Workplaces and Its Cost to Working Women.As an economist, I have been interested in the gender wage gap for almost four decades. Over those years, as I watched more women graduating from college, and more women working throughout their lives, I just assumed that we would catch up with men’s wages. I was startled in the mid-1990s when I realized that we were nowhere near parity. I have been single-mindedly scrutinizing this wage gap ever since.My book, Getting Even -- the result of eight years of research accumulating evidence of gender wage discrimination never before assembled – reveals the extent to which this discrimination permeates the entire United States economy.You can read about employers of all kinds who, in recent years, had to pay women employees or former employees to settle claims of gender discrimination; or judges and juries ordered them to pay up. These consequences and our current laws have not ended workplace discrimination. There continue to be barriers to hiring andpromoting qualified women; financial penalties imposed arbitrarily on pregnant women; sexual harassment by bosses and co-workers; failure to pay women the same money as men for doing the same jobs; and biases and stereotyping which may seem slight or aggravating setbacks to a woman at the time, yet also cut into her paycheck.Inequitable treatment takes money out of a woman’s paycheck, whichaccumulates into serious financial losses over the 35 years that she typically works: the young woman graduating from high school this spring will make $700,000 less than the young man receiving his high school diploma at the same time; the woman graduating from college this spring will lose $1.2 million compared to the man getting his degree along with her; and the woman with the newly minted MBA, law degree or medical degree will make $2 million less.Women don’t realize the enormous sums that they lose to wage discrimination because they never see big bites taken out of their paychecks at any one time. Instead, little nicks in a paycheck—a promotion delayed because she is pregnant and her boss guesses (wrongly) that she intends to shift to part-time work, a sales call she misses because her boss assumes she’s going home to cook dinner for her family, her request for a different shift to escape a sexual harasser—all add up, over time to become: $700,000, $1.2 million and $2 million. Also, women do not realize how much wage discrimination hurts them because we -- Congress, policy analysts, researchers -- have yet to adequately understand and address the gender wage gap. Statisticians, try as they might, have not been able to fully “explain” the gap. Why? Isn’t it time to conclude that we are looking at inadequate data to explain this gap? The gender wage gap is not just about worker characteristics, ie. the data provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and Census Bureau; it’s about workplace characteristics, too. It’s time to collect data as extensively about workplaces as workers.H. 1338 is important because it finally points public attention to the right place:the American workplace, and initiates an expanded collection of workplace data. This bill, with its emphasis on altering workplace pay practices, creates the appropriate conditions for American women to achieve gender pay equity. Working women are not looking for pay equity to be handed to them. Women can and will take responsibility for ensuring they’re paid and treated fairly. Yet employers must also take responsibility to ensure that their pay policies and practices are fair and equitable. H. 1338 helps women and employers achieve these common goals and initiates the collection of workplace pay data essential to eliminating workplace discrimination.Prompt Action Is Important.Prompt passage of H 1338 is very important to working women. Here’s why.The WAGE Project surveyed working women through collaborations with several national women’s organizations -- the National Committee on Pay Equity, The Business and Professional Women, The Young Women’s Christian Association, the American Association of University Women, and the National Organization for Women. Almost 800 working women responded. These women work in every state in the nation and inevery sector of the economy. They take home small paychecks as waitresses, modest paychecks as office managers and technicians, and relatively large paychecks as senior executives, professors and physicians. While this is not a random sample of workingwomen, their voices offer a candid window into today’s working conditions and their recent experiences with pay inequity.The loudest message of this survey is that women fear retaliation if they talk about their pay at work. The nonretaliation clause in Section 3 will help many women who fear firing or demotion. One college educated woman in her late 40’s said: “About three years ago I worked for a major corporation in a supervisory capacity. My staff was 47 people and my male colleague's staff was 12. His salary was $28,000, mine was $22,500… The Vice President advised me that if I told what I found out I could be fired.”The fear factor is real. This bill will help women now silenced by fear of retaliation. Besides, fair-minded employers should want employees who suspect unfair pay to raise their questions before suspicion hardens into grievances and lawsuits anderodes their productivity. Three out of four survey respondents reported some recent experience with unfair treatment or pay. Passage of H.1338 will give those women and others hope that working conditions will become more equitable where they now work and that they don’t have to leave their jobs. A 37 year old case worker in a nonprofit organization said “They just hired a male and asked me to train him. He is starting out making more than me. There is (sic) certain criteria you must meet for this position which he does not meet. Then they want me to train him to do the same job I am doing.” She did nothing about this “because I have to keep my job to feed my children. I am, however, looking for another job.” Typically, when women encountered blatant pay inequity, they said they decided to leave: “I quit.” “I gave notice and left one month later.” “I used up my vacation time and never went back.”Don’t miss the financial point: it costs women money when they have to leave a job in order to be paid and treated fairly. They may lose months of income until they find another job. They lost whatever seniority they had built up with the last employer. They may have to take a pay cut if pressure to bring in a paycheck forces themto settle for a lesser position. For women whose employers adopt and enforce the Secretary’s guidelines for pay equity, they will be working in a workplace where pay equity is not only the law, butalso, engrained in the practices of the employer and the culture of their workplace. Every employer should adopt the guidelines to be developed by the Secretary of Labor. That is the surest way to establish pay equity in every American workplace in the near future.Passage of H. 1338 will send working women an important message: Congress recognizes their situation, is taking action to bring them data with which they can safely raise pay equity concerns with their employers, and is pressing employers to be more accountable for pay equity among their employees. In the absence of pay equity hearings,much less legislation, over the last decade, many women have lost hope that their employers feel pressure to exercise oversight and vigilance about compliance with Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and the Equal Pay Act.Finally, there’s the future. I urge you to pass H.1338 to avoid an unwanted, painful legacy. We couldn’t close the wage gap even one penny from 1994 to 2004, even with the boom years of the late 1990s! The fact that the gender wage gap has been stuck tells us that there is nothing inevitable about the wage gap going away on its own if wecontinue to rely only on current laws and their implementation. If we do not act, we will pass on to the next generation, and the next after that—to your daughters, and your granddaughters, nieces, aunts, and all the younger women in your families whom youlove and respect—the same financial losses working women face today. Is that a legacy you want to pass on to them? Of course not. None of us wants to. But that will happen if no action is taken to address today’s discriminatory treatment of women at work.Some Important Recommended Changes to Specific Language in the Bill.Section 3 Enhanced Enforcement of Equal Pay Requirements. (d Nonretaliation provision.I have already illustrated how important this provision is to help working women act on their own behalf without fear of retaliation. Some employers may resist open discussion among employees about their salaries and pay scales as this woman confirms:“my employer intimidates us. We don’t dare talk about what we earn while we’re working.” But those employers who do treat and pay women equitably have nothing to hide. Open discussions among employees and their employer about pay and pay scales can enable all employees to feel fairly and adequately compensated. As I have listened toworking women, they are thoughtful and fair minded about pay. More transparency about pay and pay scales in America’s workplaces would be beneficial for employers and employees alike. H. 1338 promises to open up workplaces to healthy discussions about who gets paid what and why. I urge the committee to insist on this language in the finalbill.Section 5. Negotiation Skills Training for Girls and Women.Here are my concerns. I leave to staff to wordsmith this section.First, I would urge language which clarifies that Congressional intent is to focus on negotiation skills directly related to salary and total compensation matters, including not only skills in bargaining and communicating, but also, benchmarking techniques. Itwould be easy for rules and regulations to interpret the current language of this section to permit a broader set of negotiating skills in financial planning, flex time and other workplace conditions. These are important matters. But the key here is to maintain the priority and focus on negotiations skills training which bear directly on a woman’searnings. Clarifying language to this section might not necessarily exclude these other topics involving a woman’s finances, but rather, establish that priority funding goes to training which bears directly on women’s paychecks.Secondly, in (a) Use of Funds. In the second sentence, I would suggest substituting the words “equitable salaries and fair, equitable compensation packages for themselves” for the current language “higher salaries and the best compensation packagespossible for themselves”. The purpose of this bill is to establish pay equity. Training which focuses on women getting paid what they should, what is fair compared with others where they work given their job, experience, responsibility, etc fits with thepurpose of the bill. The current language suggests training women to get promotions(higher salaries) and the most money (compensation package) they can. I have no doubt that once women get trained to negotiate for fair pay they will have the necessary skills for gaining more pay. The intent of this bill, as I understand it, is to help women achievepay equity. That, in itself, will be a significant outcome.Finally, (c) Report. I recommend that the report include not only “describing activities conducted under this section” but also “and an evaluation of the effectiveness of these activities in enhancing equity in women’s paychecks”. An assessment of whichtraining programs actually advance women’s earnings and which do not is essential. Section 7. Technical Assistance and Employer Recognition Program. a) Guidelines. Voluntary guidelines are just that: voluntary. The adoption of such guidelines by every employer would dramatically advance pay equity. I urge the committee to strengthen language in this section such that employers are incentivized to adopt these guidelines and conversely, disincentivized for not adopting these guidelines after some specified period of time. (b) (2) Please insert “or layoffs of employees” after men in the clause “ ….lowering wages paid to men”. Women need men as allies in achieving fair and equitable treatment where they work. This clause is intended to make clear that neitherlayoffs nor lowered wages are an acceptable means for employers to achieve pay equity.The experience of the State of Minnesota validates this point. Minnesota achieved payequity –women employees are now paid 97 cents for every dollar men employees earn-- without one man losing a job or losing money in his paycheck. Pay equity can beachieved not a men’s expense. Section 8. Establishment of the National Award for Pay Equity in the Workplace. (b)(1)I urge the committee to add language which requires applicants for this award to disclose the salaries by gender and job category which were made more equitable. The language now makes it possible for an employer to describe worthy efforts but not report what, if any, actual effects its pay equity initiative had. Without documented advances, no applicant should be eligible to receive this prestigious award.Section 9. Collection of Pay Information by the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission. This section of the bill is extremely important. It has the potential to provide breakthroughs in the nation’s understanding of pay inequities in today’s workplaces andin the nation’s capability to eliminate the discrimination which underlies pay inequity. I urge the committee to specifically guarantee access and availability of the pay information gathered under this section to researchers, public policy analysts, and socialservice organizations. These professionals need this data to advance our understanding of workplace discrimination and what to do about it. While the Secretary of Labor may perform studies and inform the public under Section 6, broad based access to pay data collected in Section 9 would stimulate the cross checks and debates of data which only develop when many and varied professionals look at the same data. The standard here ought to be the accessibility that professionals now have to data gathered by Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The designation of the EEOC as lead agency for surveying available data and determining data needed to enhance their enforcement activities is appropriate.Anticipating that some adaptation of the EEO-1 form appears the most likely means to collect pay information by gender and job title, I call to your attention how limited theavailability of EEO-1 data has been to this larger community of interests. Until 2000, EEO-1 data was unavailable to almost everyone and even now, only a handful of academics have access. The need for confidentiality concerning company specific data must be respected, but, with adequate resources, the EEOC can devise ways to enablemore researchers and practitioners to access EEO-1 data. Limited access to EEO-1 data has seriously limited public debate and policy formulation about the gender wage gap. I have tremendous sympathy for extensive enforcement mandate the EEOC implements and I do not intend this as criticism of the agency. Rather I want to ensure that, if the EEOC becomes the collector of pay information, that the agency has not only the mandate but also the resources to make this data available to a large community of analysts and practitioners.In summary. Forty years ago, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and the Equal Pay Act made gender discrimination illegal in America’s workplaces and embraced the principle that women should be paid like men when they do the same work. In the last decade, our nation’s progress toward reaching these goals has stalled. Prompt passage of The Paycheck Fairness Act can and will reactivate momentum.The Paycheck Fairness Act sends a strong message to working women that this nation intends to eliminate paycheck discrimination in the foreseeable future. At the same time, the Paycheck Fairness Act sends just as strong a message to employers that they can and should pay for the job, not who does the job. If employers do that – pay for the job, not who does the job – we will eliminate pay discrimination not just for women, but for minorities, older workers, and handicapped workers. That is the promise contained inthis bill.I commend you on your leadership on this bill and offer to help in whatever you wish.Thank you.
Monday, April 23, 2007
WAGE Survey Of Working Women: HighlightsApril 24, 2007Equal Pay Day1. About the SurveyIn February 2007, in preparation for this year’s Equal Pay Day, The WAGE Project (TWP) initiated a national survey of working women. The purpose of the survey was to hear directly from women in their own words about any recent experiences they had with being treated and paid unfairly at work. TWP works every day to stimulate talkamong working women about their wages and their treatment at work as a preparatory step for them toward taking informed, strategic action to get paid fairly. The survey was intended to encourage women’s dialogue about matters of pay as well as to gain data about what is happening in workplaces throughout America.Women’s responses exceeded our expectations. Within ten weeks, more than seven hundred women had filled out the survey. Based on the strength of this initial response and requests by women in the survey to continue to enable other working women to contribute their experiences, TWP will continue to collect information throughthis survey.Women participated in the survey through multiple sources. Paper copies of the survey were distributed at events attended by TWP staff. Some respondents filled out surveys at the event. Others mailed in their responses at a later date. The internet versionof the survey accounted for over 90% of all responses. The survey asked women to provide basic demographic information aboutthemselves, specifically, age, education, geographic location where they work, industrial or business sector and job title. Then women were asked three questions: (1) can you tell us a time at work recently when you knew that you were not treated or paid fairly; (2)what objective information persuaded you that this was unfair; and (3) what, if anything, did you do about this and why.National women’s organizations were tremendously helpful in getting word out about the survey and urging their members to participate. The National Committee on Pay Equity, the American Association of University Women, the Business and Professional Women, the National Organization for Women and the Young Women’s Christian Association – all played leading roles in calling on women to take a few minutes to provide data about what is happening to them at work. States with the most respondents included: Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Texas and Vermont. Regions of the country -- Mid-Atlantic, Mid-West, South-East, and West -- had roughly similar shares (16-18% each) of the total participation while the Northeast had slightly morerepresentation (26%). Almost all respondents ranged in age from their twenties to their sixties. In addition, several teenagers and women over seventy years old took this opportunity to provide information about their work experience. The median age of the participants in the survey was forty-six years old.Almost half the respondents have attended college or have college degrees; and another four in ten have taken graduate courses or earned graduate degrees. In general, therefore, the survey’s respondents are well educated and trained.Some women respondents are low and hourly wage earners like the caretaker in New Orleans and the head cashier in upstate NY; others are moderate-earning office managers, librarians, and information technology specialists; and high earning educators, physicians and health care providers. They work in manufacturing companies, financial services businesses, retail shops and communications industries; in hospitals, dentist’s offices, health care agencies, colleges, universities, and social service organizations; and in municipal, state and federal government agencies.This survey is not a random sample of working women. Yet, considering the number and demographic diversity of the respondents, these women provide an important picture of how women see themselves treated and paid at work. The federal government does not collect such information on a systematic, large scale basis, which would enable researchers and public policy analysts to draw statistically significant conclusions about women’s accounts of their working conditions. Much of the equal employment opportunity data that employers are required to submit to the federal government onworkforce composition and compensation is not available to the public. So, this survey offers valuable insights into these issues.With respect for and thanks to the working women who provided this information for women and men to consider on Equal Pay Day 2007, the following survey highlights are presented. For purposes of illustration, the language of women’s responses is included for authenticity and so that readers gain some understanding of the intensity of women’s concerns for their paychecks.2. Survey Highlights#1. 70% of the respondents report inequitable treatment at work; two out of three of whom report gender bias and discriminationSeven out of ten women who participated in the survey reported experiences with inequitable treatment and pay -- women of all ages, working in private businesses, nonprofits, and government offices, and living in every state in the nation. These women supported their claims of inequity with credible facts. Two thirds of these women’s accounts of inequities involved gender discrimination.For example, a Vice President in a call center said “In the 23 years I have worked here, I have never been paid the same pay as the male managers.” How did she know this? “I have total access to payroll records.”A college educated woman in her late 40’s living in the South reported: “About three years ago I worked for a major corporation in a supervisory capacity. My staff was 47 people and my male colleague's staff was 12. His salary was $28,000, mine was $22,500.” She knew this because “I helped the manager calculate the salary increases for upcoming year.”A 24-year old mortgage bank relationship manager said “ I discovered that I was producing more loan revenue than a male co-worker but making less per loan.” She was analytic in her assessment of inequity: “I was a higher producer, making more money for the company, and self-sufficient in lead generation. He was not. So I cost the company less.”Another woman in her twenties, just starting her career, reported “I work for the government. I was brought in at grade 9-10, while a man fresh out of school just like me was brought in at a grade which pays him $10,000 more. I cannot understand it. We are both Physician Assistants.”A property manager in her fifties reported that a male maintenance superintendent who worked for her made more than she did although she had more education and more job responsibilities.Not all women claimed that their experiences with inequitable treatment were gender based. One woman explained: “The board is aware of the lag in my wages. It is a budgetary consideration, not a comment on the level of performance or my gender.” Other women said that they are generally underpaid, as illustrated in the comments of this woman: “I do a little of everything. I coordinate all of the special events, trainings, and carry out public relations for the organization. I even do grant writing. I'm only being paid $13/hour with no health insurance benefits. I feel that I am very underpaid for my skills and commitment to my job.”Women provided details of their experiences of unfair, inequitable treatment. Their responses confirm that women pay close attention to how they are treated at work, especially how they are treated compared to others. They expect evenhandedness and readily identify conditions which do not meet this standard. Even this 16 year old high school worker understands what workplace inequity is all about: “Men are chosen as delivery drivers and women have to work inside. But inside we receive no tips and men get to keep all of their tips.” Responding to how she knew this was unfair she said:“because there is no tip jar inside. It is kept by the owner, who’s a guy so only guys make extra money.”#2. More than half (55%) of women workers who reported inequitable treatment and pay took no action for fear of retaliation or convinced their chance to improve their situation was hopeless.More than half of the women who reported inequitable treatment deliberately decided not to take action to achieve equity. Fear of retaliation was expressed time and time again. “I was afraid to fight for fear of losing my job,” said one. “I was told that if Iacted on what I found out (about being paid less than a man) I would be fired,” another woman said. One middle aged woman in the information technology industry explained: “I did nothing. I need my job and medical benefits since my husband is ill…. The senior director has no compunction about firing people she perceives as ‘toxic’. So I remain mute.” Another woman supporting other family members made a similar comment: “I did nothing. I did not want to jeopardize my position, I am a single parent and need the pay.”One woman spoke for many others: “We have to keep quiet or we lose our jobs.”Women also fear being marginalized and ostracized. One woman, after discovering that she was paid less than a man with fewer responsibilities, less education and less related work experience, said: “I did not do anything about it out of fear and not wantingto ‘rock the boat’.” Another explained: “I didn’t do anything about it because I do not feel comfortable sticking up for myself in an all-male environment. Mostly it is because I fear being immediately compartmentalized as someone who plays the ‘gender card’, and losing respect for that action. It is more fear that openly challenging the status quo with regards to gendered interactions will produce a backlash or a negative reaction.” Still another woman said in plain words: “Cannot speak up. Retaliatory environment. Have supported female colleague unjustly terminated from program and have been harassed, slandered, publicly insulted as a result.” A young woman’s resignation about her summer job experience was particularly poignant : “I didn’t do anything. I was young. It was the end of the summer. I just kinda blew it off. I remember feeling helpless and like there was nothing I could do.” Several women expressed how they were made to feel replaceable, including this woman who worked her way up to the management team of a Fortune 100 company: “You could lose you job if you bucked the system. There was someone younger who would move in at half the salary and not crank about the work/pay or sexist treatment. You can only squeak so much and you become a 'problem'.”Quite a few women said they did nothing because they had tried and failed in the past to get treated more fairly. Typical of the statements by these women are the following: “It’s just the way it is here.” “What’s the use of trying.” “I’d just be seen as atroublemaker as I have been in the past whenever I objected.” “Considered the source. What kind of challenge can be done? Men have talked this way to women for eons.”“Can't because it is an issue that can't be changed or challenged by the unempowered.”The women for whom fear of retaliation stops them from acting nevertheless deeply resent how they are treated. A thirty year old graphic web designer said: “I haven't worked up the guts to do anything about it because I'm afraid they'll just tell me to leave,get a new job. And if that happens, I will probably explode with anger. Right now, I just stew with bitterness.” Another woman, a PhD former pharmaceutical company employee explained: “First I was extremely disheartened. Honestly I did nothing about it other thanvoice my unhappiness to my management. That is when I was told there was nothing that could be done about it. I stayed at the company for various reasons, however, I never forgot the situation and it entered into my decision making in my job.”#3. Less than 5% of the women who try to get paid and treated fairly, even withsolid data to make their cases, achieve the equity they seek.Let’s start with some success stories. One woman said: “I said no that wasn't appropriate - I should be paid the same as another person on the team. He told me to submit my raise documentation (again) but he couldn't pay me the same as the man because of Federal Regulations. I asked if he was aware that Federal Regulation stated that when two people were doing the same job they were to be paid equally? I got a really big raise.” However, this woman continued: “Unfortunately they decided they couldn't market me at the new rate so 1 1/2 years later I was let go.” A branch manager in a bank explained what she did: “A requirement of a loan officer at our bank is a 4 year degree. I came across the pay stub of a gentlemen a little younger than I who was promoted into the position without a degree (which I have). At the time I discovered the discrepancy in pay I was earning about $2800 per month and he was earning about $3000. I asked for an explanation from my manager about the discrepancy. He researched it and was told that the other person had been with the bank longer. I was, however, given a raise to match the other person's salary.”Some women reported that they obtained slight advancements. For example, a healthcare senior supervisor reported: “I challenged the treatment and it resulted in a Sexual Harassment workshop” then she added, “which the men snickered through. I talked to HR about my boss's attitude and was told by the female VP of HR that I shouldjust ignore the male VP's attitude.”Most women’s attempts to secure equity were denied or disregarded. “I happened to see my colleague’s paystub (he left it out). He had less credentials, less seniority andmade 40% more than me. I approached HR and they explained that paychecks were private and that I should not have looked at it. I decided not to pursue it further for fear of backlash,” explained a woman in her late thirties working in financial planning. Afterbeing forced to hire a man who was then promoted over her, one young woman explained that she: “ approached the VP to talk to him about my lack of compensation and support. I asked him if he could share with me how raises were distributed in the company and what I could expect in the future for my hard work. I was told those were inappropriate questions and that I could get a job elsewhere if I didn't like the company I worked for.” “I was told that the door is right there. This is how it is,” said one woman who works two jobs to support her family and send her kids to college because “those of us who work with our heads earn less than men working with brawn.”Even women who do act also fear retaliation. A government worker continually bypassed for much younger, inexperienced men, said “I made objections to my immediate superior, but I was brushed off. I didn't want to make too many waves or I could be subject to reprisals as to work assignment, etc.”#4. One in five (20%) women reports leaving or planning to leave her job because of inequitable treatment.A 31 year-old woman who lost her retirement benefit because her employer said he couldn’t afford it and that her husband “had a real good one anyway” concluded: “Who cares what my husband has. I am possibly leaving my employment with my current company because of it.”A 40 year-old graphic designer discovered while out on maternity leave that the company hired a man for the job she was promised. “This person became my boss and I resigned.” A young grocery store clerk found herself demoted when she became engagedand her boss assumed she would not then transfer to another store. “I ended up just going and finding another job since we did not have the money to hire a lawyer to sue this company!” One woman talked about her job awhile ago: “It was a very small town and Iwas afraid of making waves because I needed the job to support my family. Eventually, I quit and went to college and got a degree and went into a different career.” A middleaged public relations director who realized she was earning $10,000 less than a counterpart said: “I didn't challenge it; I left the agency instead. I knew the agency head was sexist and unlikely to alter the situation.” “I finally have had enough already. It's time to either compensate me or I move on.”A Vice President in the prime years of her career captured the futility of improving her situation, which also was expressed by a number of other women: “I am still missing out on promotions and growth opportunities due to my gender. I have not been given an equal chance to interview despite better qualifications. The second time this happened despite stellar reviews. There is no way to change a good old boy. Speaking up would mark me for the rest of the career. There's just no way to have this conversation and survive it. From experience I know to be quiet. But this forces me tolook to move to a new area in order to find a path that moves forward. So the company loses a great resource.”3. ConclusionFor decades, when asked their priorities by national pollsters, working women have ranked equal pay at the top of their list, ahead of child care and health care. This survey reveals why pay equity is so important to women: seventy percent of the women in this survey reported recent experiences with unfair treatment that they can substantiate. Of the 70 percent respondents, with 20 percent leaving for better working conditions, and less than 5 percent achieving equitable treatment, that means almost half these women (45%) reported working under conditions which they knew were discriminatory yet had to accept. As hardworking, dedicated workers, their feelings of resentment and frustration fester as long as the indignities and injustices they withstand go unaddressed.With every passing day in which employers ignore these conditions in their workplaces, this survey suggests that the nation loses the best work efforts of a large portion the labor force.The burden cannot and must not be solely on working women to fix these conditions. Employers and policy makers must play roles in achieving gender pay equity in every American workplace. Public policy must establish better conditions for working women so that they can speak up about inequities without fear of retaliation. At the same time, public policy must create workplaces where employers pay for the job not who does the job.Working women do not want special treatment. They want fair treatment. Together, with strengthened laws, working women and employers can achieve gender pay equity. The health of the US economy and the health of American families will be strengthened when women finally get paid like men.
In preparation for the campus workshops this fall, salary.com has agreed to provide WAGE with a customized “salary wizard”. Students will be able to benchmark their starting salaries and get important information on salary negotiation on the wage website without being inundated with commercial appeals prevalent on business sites. The salary wizard will be available to all working women who use the WAGE website. Click here to give it a try: http://wageproject.salary.com
The WAGE Project has been working on the design of WAGE Campus Workshops for pilot testing on selected campuses this fall. These workshops will help women get paid fairly when they graduate from college. We have had a very positive response as of August 1st eleven colleges and universities have signed on to partner with the WAGE Project in piloting our Smart Start Campus Initiative. We are excited that we will be piloting Start Smart at small colleges, large universities, a community college and a graduate school. At the end of these programs in December, we will work with the participating colleges and universities to fine tune the program and offer it to additional schools in the spring of 2008. We are already getting requests to be considered for the spring, so if you are interested, please let Annie Houle know by emailing her at email@example.com.
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
WAGE Page August 3, 2007Ledbetter Fair Pay Act Passes HouseOn July 31, 2007 in a close vote of 225 to 199, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2007. While passage of the Ledbetter Act is an important first step in returning Title VII, the law against employment discrimination, to its original intention regarding remedies for pay discrimination, there are not enough votes to override a threatened veto, and the House still has much work to do to eliminate the systemic pay discrimination faced by women workers. So congratulations and thanks for all of us for all the hard work put in to enable this to pass! Consider thanking your representatives for their support. Keep up the great work!Thanks to National Committee on Pay EquityMichelle Leber, Ex Director of the NCPE wrote an excellent letter to The Honorable George Miller, Chairman, House Education and Labor Committee, U.S. House of Representatives, thanking him for his leadership in the recently passed Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act (H.R. 2831). On behalf of the organizations listed below, she thanked him for his strong advocacy on behalf of this bill and for moving it quickly and expeditiously through the legislative process. Thank you, Mike, for your leadership and ongoing support. To read her entire letter and to view the list of organizations mentioned, please click on this link. NCPE Miller mark up letter 8-07.docSee Women’s Business article 8-1-07: The Legacy of Lily Ledbetter Negative Decision Turns to Positive Action Paycheck Fairness Act: Organizations Mobilizing Women to Inform Congressional RepresentativesIn April 2007, WAGE was invited to testify before the US Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions in support of the Paycheck Fairness Act and again in July 2007 before the House Subcommittee on Workforce Protections. The AAUW, National Committee on Pay Equity, BPW and other national advocacy organizations for working women are mobilizing women to meet with their Congressional representatives to urge passage of this bill in the fall. For guidance on how to meet with your Congressional Representative and Senators, please contact :Lecia Imbery, Grassroots CoordinatorPublic Policy and Government RelationsAmerican Association of University Women Imberyl@aauw.orgStart Smart Pilot Dates Finalized for More CampusesAs of August first, eleven colleges and universities have signed on to partner with the WAGE Project in piloting our Smart Start Campus Initiative. The three schools listed below have finalized their dates and they are below.Fletcher School/Tufts , Medford, MA– October 8 and 29University of Maine, Orono, ME – November 7 and 14University of Southern Maine, Portland, ME and one other I think.We are excited that we will be piloting Start Smart at small colleges, large universities, a community college and a graduate school. At the end of these programs in December, we will work with the participating colleges and universities to fine tune the program and then offer it to additional schools in the spring of 2008. We are already getting requests to be considered for the spring, so if you are interested, please let Annie Houle know [firstname.lastname@example.org].Salary.com to Provide Salary Calculator on WAGE WebsiteIn preparation for the campus workshops this fall, salary.com has agreed to provide WAGE with a customized “salary wizard”. Students will be able to benchmark their starting salaries and get important information on salary negotiation on the wage website without being inundated with commercial appeals prevalent on business sites. The salary wizard will be available to all working women who use the WAGE website.WAGE Plans for Specialized Salary Workshops in Spring 2008 Once the campus workshops are underway, WAGE plans to develop workshops for organizations with whom we work closely. Chapters of YWCA, BPW, AAUW, and American Library Association as well as an association of women scientists have indicated their interest in such specialized salary workshops.If your group is interested in a specialized workshop, please contact Annie Houle at email@example.com or by phone at 207-899-2883.Illinois WAGE Hub Hosts Successful EventThe WAGE event at O'Brien's last Thursday (7/26) in Chicago attracted a FULL house! Thanks to the diligence of AAUW and BPW and a few personal calls, there were approximately 35 women and 1 man in attendance. Everyone enjoyed the WAGE quiz and one member, Linda Henning Cohen/ AAUW managed to surprise people with most of the answers. Attendees were riled up by Jenifer Grady, Hub coordinator and Director ALA/APA, who encouraged everyone to take the AAUW study, Behind the Pay Gap http://www.aauw.org/research/behindPayGap.cfm, as a strong topic of conversation wherever they go. She urged attendees to encourage young women to go into fields that are predominantly male and better paying, like math and science, to create high-quality part-time opportunities for mothers, and to consider models like the Best Buy Results Only Work Environment as an alternative to traditional thinking based on hours worked = productivity - http://money.cnn.com/magazines/business2/business2_archive/2007/03/01/8401022/index.htm.Member, Barb Yong, with the BPW, fired up the audience with her commentary on the Ledbetter decision and the fact that women are not voting as much as they used to. Jenifer also mentioned that we need to stay active and remind our sisters that change is still needed. All of that will ensure that we don't go to the "special place in hell for women who don't help each another" (Madeleine Albright) Congratulations to you all. They are now, on to the next phase to get folks involved, perhaps hosting negotiation training. Heightened WAGE Hub/Club InterestThe WAGE Project is getting many requests from around the country to start WAGE Hubs and Clubs. Annie Houle, National Director of WAGE Clubs and Community Initiatives, has designed a workshop on how to develop these activities in your area, and is already scheduled to give workshops in Maryland and Connecticut. If your organization or community is interested in sponsoring this workshop, please contact Annie Houle [firstname.lastname@example.org] for more information and scheduling.WAGE WORKS WITH GIRL SCOUTS Membership/Program Manager and Teen Specialist, Abnaki Girl Scout Council of The Wage Project and the Girl Scout Council of Maine are working together to develop a WAGE badge. The badge will start with the Brownies (2nd and 3rd graders) and will focus on equality and self-worth. It will progress to the Ambassador level (11th and 12th graders) where activities will be more focused on negotiation skills and “learning to ask for what you are worth”. What an exciting opportunity to empower young women! Thank you to Samantha Lott, Maine, for her efforts on this project. More details to follow.Women's Equality DayWe hope you have Women's Equality Day, August 26th, marked on your calendars. Eighty-seven years ago, on August 26, 1920, women gained the right to vote in the United States--because a single Tennessee legislator switched sides at the last moment.11 RiverPlace 11-11 | South Portland, Maine 04106 | 207-899-2883 | email@example.com | www.wageproject.org
Sunday, April 09, 2006
Joined by WAGE Project President Evelyn Murphy, Maine Governor and First Lady Baldacci, Senate President Beth Edmonds, and Maine Department of Labor Commissioner Laura Fortman, Maine women’s leaders announced the formation of 32 WAGE Clubs at events on April 4 to mark Maine’s statewide equal pay day. At the announcement, Dr. Murphy, who also is the author of Getting Even: Why Women Don’t Get Paid Like Men and the architect of the WAGE Club strategy, commended Maine’s leadership as the first state to roll out this collaborative grassroots effort to eliminate the wage gap. The Maine WAGE Club initiative is led by the YWCA, Maine Women’s Lobby, Maine Women’s Fund, and other women’s organizations. As a part of Maine Equal Pay Day activities, Governor Baldacci issued an Equal Pay Day proclamation. The Democratic Women’s League also featured Dr. Murphy, First Lady Karen Balducci, and Senator Edmonds at an event to garner more support for efforts to eliminate wage discrimination.The National Committee on Pay Equity – a coalition of national women’s rights, civil rights, employee rights, and professional organizations committed to closing the wage gap – will partner with the WAGE Project on April 25 to launch a national grassroots campaign to launch WAGE clubs at a National Equal Pay Day news conference at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C..For information on how you can start a WAGE Club, visit http://www.wageproject.org/content/get_even/howtostart.shtml.
Saturday, March 19, 2005
In April 2004, Hydie Sumner was awarded $2.2 million in a case against her former employer, Merrill Lynch. Sumner was a stockbroker with the San Antonio office who endured persistent sexual harassment in the form of lewd and derogatory comments. She was also denied promotion because she refused to have sex with her boss. Sumner's award allowed many other former female employees who had endured similar ordeals to sue Merrill Lynch. In March 2005, Sumner went back to court to get her old job back. She said that she wanted to return to the management track in order to make improvements in the company's attitude toward women.
Marilyn Murphy, a former employee at Gallery Furniture, sued the store for sex and age discrimination after being fired in 2002. She was one of two female salespersons out of a team of 37. Murphy claims that Jim McIngvale, the owner of Gallery Furniture, preferred younger employees to those with more experience, and fired her due to her sex and age. Murphy said that McIngvale assigned her to answering phones rather than to working the sales floor, causing her to lose sales. Former coworker Martin G. McDaniel sued the store along with Murphy for age discrimination. McIngvale asserts that he fired the two because they lacked enthusiasm and had low sales. The trial was held in early March 2005.
Friday, March 18, 2005
Michele Krempasky, the police chief of Wilkinsburg, a borough of Pittsburgh, filed charges of sex discrimination against the ex-chief of the department, Richard Dwyer, and the borough in early 2005. Krempasky, who replaced Dwyer as chief in 2004, alleges that Dwyer continually discriminated against her when she was a lieutenant under him. She claimed that when they first met in 2002, he told her she was "lucky she had a job." A week later, Dwyer removed Krempasky as head of the Criminal Investigation Division. He also repeatedly made derogatory remarks about female police officers. When Krempasky became pregnant, Dwyer did not comply with Krempasky's doctor's recommendation that she perform light duties. Soon Dwyer had reduced Krempasky's duties solely to calling roll. Krempasky also alleges that Dwyer repeatedly made false reports that she performed her job poorly.
Thursday, March 17, 2005
Courtney Prince, a cheerleader for the New York Rangers, filed a sex discrimination lawsuit on October 18, 2004 against SquareCablevision Systems Corp., the corporation that manages Madison Square Garden's entertainment business. Prince alleges that she was sexually harassed by a member of management, and then fired for warning fellow cheerleaders. The manager allegedly tried to stick his tongue down Prince's throat and then propositioned her for sex. Madison Square Garden says that the allegations are unsubstantiated.
Col. Aaron Chaffinch, the head of the Delaware State Police, was suspended on October 27, 2004 due to allegations that he sexually harassed and discriminated against women on the force. Capt. Barbara Conley claimed that Chaffinch refused to promote her to Major because he did not believe that women could perform the job. She also accused Chaffinch of repeatedly making lewd remarks and engaging in inappropiate behavior. For example, Chaffinch allegedly referred to the secretary's breasts in a derogatory manner, talked about his desire to have sex with female employees, and referred to his genitals by nickname. Chaffinch has been the defendant in several lawsuits, including one for race discrimination, and one for retaliation.
Four employees of Grand Casino Gulfport filed a complaint of sex discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The women, Denise Bartholomew, Vickie Carden-Garriga, Marie Cox and Lena Waddell Rumore, claim they were denied promotions based on their sex. That claim was found unsubstantiated by U.S. District Judge Louis Guirola Jr. However, the women's allegations that the casino retaliated against them for filing their complaint with the EEOC will go to trial. The case was expected to go to trial in November 2004.
Ellen Sharp has filed charges of discrimination based on sex and race with Baltimore's federal court against Best Buy Co, Inc. and Best Buy Stores L.P. Sharp, who worked at a Best Buy store in Columbia, Maryland, claims that she was disciplined and fired in November 2003 due to her sex and race, and that she was retaliated against for complaining that the company subjected its black employees to disparate treatment.
In the fall of 2004, a former paramedic of Caroline County, Maryland filed suit against the county for sex discrimination, claiming that she was fired due to her pregnancy. The county refused to transfer Hannah B. Thomas or to assign her lighter duties, even though it allegedly offers employees who are not pregnant such transfers.
Associate professor Barbara Guenther filed suit in the fall of 2004 against the School of the Art Institute of Chicago for discrimination based on sex and race. Guenther, a white woman, claims that she is paid less than men and minority women who do work comparable to hers. She also says that discrimination against her is part of a pattern of underpaying women at the school.
A former waitress at a Quincy, Massachusetts Friendly's restaurant filed charges with the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination of sexual harassment and discrimination in October 2004. The woman, who declined identification, alleged that she was sexually harassed and assaulted by Mario Morellus, another restaurant employee. When she complained to management, her reports were ignored. Assistant manager Mark Caserma admitted that the woman had complained about Morellus. He also said that fellow manager Keri Murphy had told him that at least three other female employees had complained about Morellus. Caserma said that he and general manager Charlie Clark spoke to Morellus. Eventually the plaintiff called the Quincy police, who charged Morellus with 10 counts of indecent assault and battery.
Elementary school psychologist Elana Back was up for tenure when she took off three months for the birth of her child. Although she received excellent performance reviews at the Hastings-on-Hudson, NY school both before and after her leave, her supervisors, including the school principal, questioned her commitment to the job when it came time for Back's tenure review. They believed that with a child at home, she would stop doing her job well. In the lawsuit, Back alleges that after she became pregnant, her female bosses made the following comments: That her hard work was "just an act," and once she received tenure she'd start leaving early; that it would be too hard to do the job well with "little ones" at home; that "if my family was my priority ... maybe this was not the job for me." Back lost her job, and soon thereafter filed a lawsuit with the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York for gender discrimination. The court acknowledged that discrimination against a woman for being a mother is a form of sex discrimination.This type of discrimination is known in some areas as caregiver discrimination, and is specifically prohibited in the federal government, Alaska, and the District of Columbia.
Lynn Ilon, a former professor at the University of Buffalo, filed a lawsuit in November 2000 against the university in New York State Supreme Court. Ilon claims that she was denied tenure because she reported a fellow professor for sexually harassing his students. Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act not only protects employees from discrimination based on sex, race, religion, and national origin, but also protects those who complain about such treatment from retaliation. The suit is now in its investigative phase.
In October 2004, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission signed its 73rd National Universal Agreement to Mediate (NUAM) with Sotuhern Company and its affiliates, such as Alabama Power, Gulf Power, and Mississippi Power. These agreements help to resolve workplace bias disputes more efficiently. According to the agreement, any complaints of discrimination filed with the EEOC that name a Southern Company participating company as the employer or respondent will be assigned a corporate representative. That representative will be responsible for handling inquiries and any logistics related to the complaint. This process eliminates the time that elapses between serving a charge and getting it to the appropriate employer contact, and eases the scheduling of mediation sessions. Either the EEOC or Southern Company can withdraw from specific cases if they believe that the claim is inappropriate. Since the National Mediation Program was established in 1999, the EEOC has successfully resolved 70% of the cases in the program in an average time of 83 days - nearly half the time it takes to resolve a charge through the usual investigative process.
Four waitresses claim that the restaurant Ruby Tuesday's policy of requiring female waitresses to wear make-up violates Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Title VII protects against discrimination on the basis of sex, race, religion, and national origin. The policy is no longer in practice.
Wednesday, March 16, 2005
Former Associate Music Professor Hillary Hight Daw was awarded $1.06 million on August 24, 2004 in a sex discrimination lawsuit. Daw claimed that she consisently received lower pay than the men in her department and was passed over for department chair due to her sex. The man who received the chairmanship was far younger and had only been teaching as a professor for one year. When Daw complained of discrimination, the very people responsible for the pay decisions investigated, and found Daw's claims unsubstantiated.KSU has been sued twice previously for discrimination by Jewish professors claiming anti-Semitism. One of the cases was settled for $750,000, and the other was ruled in favor of KSU.
In the fall of 2004, a federal disctrict court certified a class action that could include up to 1.6 million current and former female Wal-Mart employees. The suit claims that Wal-Mart stores consistently discriminated against women in the areas of promotion and pay. The class may include any woman who was employed at a Wal-Mart store between December 26, 1998 and can substantiate claims of sex discrimination.
A combined civilian and military committee started reviewing, in October 2004, the management of sexual assault and harassment reports in military academies. The committee, headed by Navy Vice Admiral Gerald Hoewing, was formed following information that Air Force Academy administrators were ignoring such reports. The committee planns to interview students and faculty of various military academies.In addition, the Department of Defense has recently undertaken a study of sexual violence among active-duty army members and the Guard and the Reserve is contemplating stricter measures against sex crimes.
Tracey Lust filed a claim of sex discrimination against Sealy, Inc., a mattress manufacturer, after she was passed up for a promotion in favor of a younger male colleague. She claims that the supervisor who made the decision, Scott Penters, had consistently made sexist comments to her. Lust, who worked at the Madison, Wisconsin office for eight years, was promoted shortly after filing the claim. In the original trial she was awarded $300,000, the maximum award in employment discrimination cases. Sealy, Inc. appealed. The decision was upheld by the U.S. Court of Appeals, but the award was reduced to $150,000 in September 2004 due to the argument that Sealy swiftly remedied the discriminatory action.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed a second suit against the Las Vegas Riviera Hotel on September 9, 2004. The first suit was filed by the EEOC on behalf of former employee Jean Sylvia, who claimed that for years she was subjected to persistent derogatory remarks due to her age and sex. The new suit claims that Riviera retaliated against former employees Ronni Hill and Jo-Anna Harris for cooperating with the EEOC as witnesses.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed a lawsuit in September 2004 against the Silk City Diner, a restaurant in East Cocalico Township, Pennsylvania for sexual harassment. Janie Mohn, a waitress at the diner, complained to a supervisor of sexual harassment by co-owner George Barakos. She said that Barakos had consistently made inappropriate sexual remarks and touched her in an uncalled-for manner since she began working at the diner in April 2002, but her supervisor ignored her complaint. Eventually, Mohn quit due to the treatment. Barakos claims that Mohn left because she was giving food away for free.
According to the suit filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on September 27, 2004, FleetPride Inc., a company based in Texas, fired its only female employee after she complained of sexual harassment. The woman, who worked at the company's Oklahoma City office, reported to management that she was subjected to lewd sexual comments, groping, and propositions for sex, but her complaint was ignored.The EEOC also filed suit on September 27, 2004 against United Motors, a Florida-based company, on behalf of a 19-year-old woman who was subjected to sexual harassment and then forced to quit in order to escape such an environment. In addition to lost wages and damages, both lawsuits are seeking company policies and training programs that will allow employees to recognize and correct harassment and to prevent retaliation against victims.
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Chair Cari M. Dominguez said that the EEOC has made significant improvements in processing and responding to complaints in the past fiscal year (FY 2004). Among the accomplishments cited were the reduction of hearing processing time from 420 days in FY 2003 to 298 days in FY 2004, and reduction of the hearings inventory from 8,467 cases in FY 2003 to 5,871 in FY 2004. One reason for these improvements was the establishment of Management Directive 715. This Directive improves methods by which federal agencies analyze diversity. This data will be utilized to address root problems that cause disparities in the federal workplace.
In September 2004, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission signed its 62nd National Universal Agreement to Mediate (NUAM) with Tyson Foods, Inc., the second largest food company in the FORTUNE 500. These agreements help to resolve workplace bias disputes more efficiently. According to the agreement, any complaints of discrimination filed with the EEOC that name Tyson Foods, Inc. as the employer or respondent will be assigned a corporate representative. That representative will be responsible for handling inquiries and any logistics related to the complaint. This process eliminates the time that elapses between serving a charge and getting it to the appropriate employer contact, and eases the scheduling of mediation sessions. Either the EEOC or Tyson Foods can withdraw from specific cases if they believe that the claim is inappropriate. Since the National Mediation Program was established in 1999, the EEOC has successfully resolved 70% of the cases in the program in an average time of 85 days - nearly half the time it takes to resolve a charge through the usual investigative process.
In December 2003, Verne Orth, the president of Eastern Engineered Wood Products, received a complaint of sexual harassment from one of his employees. She claimed that one of the co-owners of the Allentown, PA company had made inappropriate sexual remarks and had asked her for sexual favors. Orth investigated the complaint and told the owners, brothers Steve and Doug Colson, that the employee's accusation was justified. In the following few months, Orth was denied a half-million dollar bonus, rebuked in front of his employees, suspended, and finally fired. The owners told Orth that the reason for these actions was his disloyalty to the company. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed suit against Eastern Engineered Wood Products, a lumberyard, in Spetember 2004 for violating Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which not only protects employees from discrimination based on sex, race, color, religion, and national origin, but also protects those who complain about such treatment from retaliation. The new president of Eastern Engineered Wood Products, Todd Lindsey, denied that any inappropriate actions took place within the company.
Two former employees of Cactus Willie's, a restaurant in East Hempfield, Pennsylvania charged co-owner Brett R. Austin on October 4, 2004 of sex discrimination for failing to respond to their complaints of sexual harassment. The employees, Bonita Axe and Brenda Zankl, claim that general manager Neal Mease made unwelcome sexual comments and inappropriately touched them and their female coworkers. Austin did nothing to address the situation. Axe also attempted to confront Mease directly, and was fired shortly thereafter. The suit claims that other employees were retaliated against as well.This was the second recent lawsuit concerning sexual discrimination and harassment in the Lancaster area. The week before the owner of Silk City Diner in East Cocalico Township was charged with sex discrimination for ignoring a waitress's complaints of sexual harassment.
Shimba Jones, a computer security technician at Bloomberg LP of New York, filed suit against the company in Manhattan's state Supreme Court in September 2004. She claims that Bloomberg officials ignored her complaints of sexual harassment by her supervisor, Stan Smith. Jones claims that the harassment occured continually from the time she was hired in October 2000 until she went on medical leave in April 2004. When she returned from medical leave, Jones said that she was assigned the duties of an entry-level employee. Bloomberg spokeswoman Judith Czelusiniak claims that Bloomberg officials did investigate Jones' complaints, but found them unsubstantiated.
The Office of Civil Rights of the federal Department of Education investigated claims of sex discrimination at Riverside Community College, located in Riverside, CA in the fall of 2004. Kathy Brooks, an associate professor at the college, was among a number of women who contacted the agency last year because she had concerns that sexual harassment complaints were not being properly addressed. According to state requirements, the college should notify the California Community Colleges Chancellor's Office of any reports of sexual harassment. Brooks and others say that college administrators failed to do so. The president of the college, Salvatore Rotella, denied that college administrators had made any errors.
Stephanie Villalba, a former market executive for Europe in Merrill Lynch's international private client group, filed a lawsuit against the bank for sex discrimination. She claimed that she was sexually harassed, was belittled because of her sex, received unequal pay for equal work, and was unfairly dismissed. Villalba alleged that in 2002 her total pay was less than that of more junior management. She also did not receive a bonus that an executive in her position normally receives. Villalba was dismissed in July 2003. She claims that the bank was "institutionally sexist." Merrill Lynch has denied the accusations. Villalba's immediate boss, Ausaf Abbas, claims that she was fired due to poor work performance, unwillingness to travel, and poor leadership skills. Raymundo Yu, who runs the bank's international private client business, cited that Merrill Lynch's European private client unit, for which Villalba was responsible, made a pre-tax loss of $45.8 million in 2002. That loss was bigger than that of any other region in the world, although Yu admitted that the bank's European private client business was losing money even before Villalba began running it.
Former service worker Judy Green filed suit in 2001 against the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA), claiming that she was discriminated against based on her sex and race. She alleged that while working for the LVCVA, her male coworkers subjected her to deragatory comments about her race and her sex, she received lower evaluations despite comparable work performance, she received the least desirable jobs, and she was denied the vacation time received by her male coworkers. The LVCVA denies any wrongdoing, but agreed to settle for a confidential amount in August 2004.
Officers Greta Semsroth, Kim Warehime, Sara Voyles and Heather Plush of the Wichita, Kansas Police Department sued the city for sexual harassment and discrimination on July 19, 2004. They are seeking class action status. The suit claims that the women were discriminated against in the areas of pay, assignments, and promotions. It also says that city officials did not properly investigate charges of discrimination. The city denies all allegations.
Every year National Business Women's Week promotes equity for America's 68 million female workers. The week was established in 1928 by Business and Professional Women/USA, and typically occurs in the third week in October. The week reminds Americans that despite the tremendous achievements of women in the workforce, the Current Population Survey shows that women hold about one-third of managerial and professional positions and earn substantially less than men. The gap between median earnings of full-time, year-round workers actually widened between 2002 and 2003. In 2002, women earned 77 percent of what men earned. In 2003, women's earnings were 76 percent of men's.
The court administrator of Pequannock, New Jersey received $70,000 in a settlement with the township. Court Administrator Kathleen J. Koegler filed a sex discrimination suit in May 2001. She claimed that she was paid less than male colleagues in similar positions, even though she was assigned the duties of a department head. Koegler also claimed she was subjected to sexist remarks. After 3 years and $100,000 in legal fees, the township council finally agreed to settle in October 2004.
Yvonne Aragon worked for the Las Vegas, New Mexico transportation office for 16 years. In October 2004 she filed charges with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against District Engineer Severiano Sisneros. Aragon claims that during her employment Sisneros harassed and verbally abused her. Aragon's immediate supervisor disclosed to her that Sisneros told him to do whatever he could to get Aragon fired, but that he could not find fault in her work performance. After she filed the suit, Aragon claims that Sisneros retaliated by escalating the harassment. The transportation department spokesperson could not comment on the litigation.
Five female employees of CB Richard Ellis, the largest commercial real estate firm in the country, are suing for sexual harassment and discrimination. They filed a complaint in September 2004. The women worked in the Chicago office of the Los Angeles-based company. The plaintiffs allege that they were subjected to inappropriate sexual comments and behavior, and that management condoned such conduct. The plaintiffs allege that male coworkers flashed them and had vulgar conversations about sex. The plaintiff's attorney has moved to have the lawsuit certified as a class action, which could potentially involve thousands of women in the case. CB Richard Ellis has denied the allegations.
Officer Diana Perry filed a complaint of sex discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in September 2004 against the Bunnell, Florida Police Department. Perry claims that she was consistently subjected to harassment and treated differently than her male counterparts. Perry alleges that when she brought the issue to City Manager Lyndon Bonner's attention, he did not respond. This is the second complaint filed against the department in six months. In April 2004, Cpl. Irene Hosford accused the department of sexual harassment and discrimination.
Lillian Roberts, the Executive Director of District Council 37, the largest union of municipal employees, sued the union's board members for discrimination based on sex, race, and age on September 8, 2004. The lawsuit was filed in state Supreme Court in Manhattan. Roberts, a 76-year-old black woman, claims that the board practiced discrimination when it cut her pay from $250,000 to $175,000 in February 2004. The union's treasurer, Maf Misbah Uddin, joined the suit, claiming that the board members discriminated against him as an Asian-American when they cut his salary from $180,000 to $140,000. Defendants said that Ms. Roberts's salary was cut because it was too much in comparison to the salaries of other municipal union leaders. However, the plaintiff's supporters assert that Roberts earns less than the presidents of several union locals within District Council 37.
Tuesday, March 15, 2005
The Middletown, Ohio city council reviewed a draft of a policy to encourage companies owned by minorities and women to do business with the city on September 19, 2004. Council members hope that such a policy will alert women and minorities to opportunities for their businesses and encourage new local businesses to grow. They anticipate a diversification of those businesses that are awarded city contracts, after seeing them awarded repeatedly to the same few companies.
For 15 years Cleveland has maintained programs designed to support companies owned by women and minorities. This "MBE/FBE" program requires that Cleveland contractors subcontract 15 percent of work to companies headed by minorities, and five percent of work to companies headed by women. The program has been very successful, but Mayor Jane Campbell began on September 10, 2004 accusing the federal government of endangering it. The federal government advocates for a "DBE" program, which requires subcontracting to businesses in impoverished areas, regardless of the race or sex of their owners. Federal officials are requesting that city programs meet their approval before affecting contracts that receive federal money.
In September 2004, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission awarded the contract for their National Contact Center to Pearson Government Solutions. The Center, set to begin operation in spring 2005, will be designed to respond more efficiently to the estimated 1 million inquiries that the EEOC receives each year. The Center will be staffed by customer service personnel who will be trained to direct each caller to the appropriate department, which will allow EEOC staff to focus on their specific responsibilities. The Center will also allow the EEOC to track trends, concerns, and demographics, which will be useful in improving EEOC operations and policies. Elizabeth Thornton, a 30-year employee of the EEOC, will manage the project.
Carol Collins, a former assistant county attorney in Williamson County, Texas is suing County Attorney Gene Taylor and Williamson County for sex discrimination. Collins claims that Taylor fired her due to her age and her sex, following a pattern of sex and age discrimination in the office. Taylor alleges that he fired Collins for her poor work performance. The suit ended in a mistrial in January 2004 because the jury could not agree on a verdict. It was set for retrial in September 2004. The Williamson County Commissioners are scheduled to vote on whether to give Collins $60,000 in damages and $18,000 in attorneys fees to settle the case.
In September 2004, Governor McGreevey signed the bill for the New Jersey Civil Rights Act. New Jersey already has one of the most comprehensive civil rights laws in the nation, New Jersey's Law Against Discrimination. This law protects against discrimination based on race, religion, age, sex, marital status, sexual orientation and disability. The new law would additionally protect residents against other civil rights violations. One criticism of the new law, voiced by the state chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, is that an amendment allowing the winner of a case to demand that the loser pay its legal expenses may discourage residents from exercising it. Deborah Jacobs, the executive director of the New Jersey chapter of the ACLU, recommends that only those plaintiffs who file a civil rights lawsuit in "bad faith" should be liable for the other side's legal expenses, but that all others should be protected.
On Labor Day 2004, protestors gathered outside a Wal-Mart in Columbia, MD. Lawsuits have been filed thoughout the country against Wal-Mart, many focusing on sex discrimination. Others focus on wage and overtime pay violations. These lawsuits represent thousands of current and former employees. Wal-Mart spokesperson Christi Gallagher denied accusations of discrimination.
Four women who were fired in the 1960s by a Minnesota-based company, Allette d/b/a Minnesota Power, due to marriage or pregnancy, returned to work in the 1980s and are currently retired. However, the company, whose pension plan is based on years of continuous service, did not "bridge" the years during which the women were not allowed to return to work. The four women sued, claiming that without "bridging" those years, this policy discriminates based on sex, marital status, and pregnancy. An earlier trial in a Minnesota U.S. district court ruled that the women had no claim because they were applying federal anti-discrimination laws to events that occured before those laws existed. However, the 8th Circuit Court of Minnesota brought the case, called Maki, et al. v. Allette, Inc. d/b/a Minnesota Power, back to life in the fall of 2004, and concluded that the case could not be dismissed because the complaints were brought against the current pension plan, not against the past terminations.
According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, most employees of the restaurant industry whose sexual harassment cases are brought to court are teenagers. That number seems to be on the rise. There are various reasons for this phenomenon. Twenty percent of employees in food service are teenagers, and almost half are under 24. Therefore teenaged workers in restaurants are often answering to managers not much older than themselves. Those managers are often poorly trained to recognize sexual harassment and deal with complaints. Also, managers may associate inappropriate behavior in the workplace with adolescent humor that they encounter in school, and fail to recognize the seriousness of that behavior. Finally, because teenagers are just beginning their work experience, they do not know what conduct is inappropriate for the workplace, and are ignorant of their legal workplace rights.
New York City Council Member Vincent Gentile was accused of sexual harassment by his chief of staff John Martin. This is the second recent accusation of sexual harassment by a council member. The first was lodged against Allan Jennings in September 2004, for creating a hostile workplace, inappropriately firing two employees, and using city funds wrongly. In response to allegations against Jennings, the council created a fair intervention committee, which swiftly responded to Martin's complaint.
A group of former Krispy Kreme employees sued the company and the supervisor of the store they worked at for sex and race discrimination. Two female plaintiffs accused their supervisor, Matthew Peterson, of sexual harassment. Deniz Murillo, a 20-year-old single mother, claimed that Peterson forced her to have sex with him by threatening to fire her. When she refused to continue the relationship, he harassed her further and pressured her into quitting. The other plaintiff, Margarita Salazar, alleges that the company did not respond when she complained of sexual harassment. Two of the other plaintiffs, David Rico-Lopez and Ernesto Murillo, were told that they violated company policies by trying to speak up for their co-workers. They also claim that they, being of Mexican descent, were paid less for the same work as their white counterparts. All five of the employees were fired, except for Murillo, who quit. Krispy Kreme resolved the suit on September 20, 2004 but denied any wrongdoing.
Monday, March 14, 2005
Two New Jersey borough councilmen, Jeff Thompson and Vinnie Capalbo, asked the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in early September 2004 to examine a complaint of sexual harassment against Council President Bill Siebel. The councilmen did not believe that the complaint was being handled ethically, and found that Siebel's interests were prioritized over those of the victim. They hoped that, should the EEOC take on the complaint, the inquiry would be handled effectively and impartially.
Mahogany Clifton, former employee, filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against the Wal-Mart store in Saddle Brook, California in state Superior Court. Clifton claims that her former supervisor, William Reid, now deceased, made unwelcome sexual comments and advances, and touched her breasts and buttocks, creating a hostile environment. Reid also allegedly exposed himself to Clifton and offered to pay her $50 if she had sex with him. In the lawsuit, Clifton asserts that it was common practice in the Wal-Mart store for managers to ask subordinate employees for sex in exchange for preferential work assignments. Clifton claims she was terminated after complaining about the sexual harassment.
Brenda Jarvis claims that the chairman and chief executive of the Sara Lee Corporation, C. Steven McMillan, pulled a job offer after she ended a sexual relationship with him. According to Jarvis, McMillan offered her a $140,000 a year job while in a sexual relationship with her, but when, a month later, Jarvis refused to accompany McMillan on a business trip, he withdrew the offer. Afterwards, Jarvis alleges that McMillan accused her of demanding sex from him. Jarvis is suing Sara Lee for employment discrimination and McMillan for defamation. Both the corporation and McMillan have denied any wrongdoing. The suit is scheduled for trial in June 2005.
Sunday, March 13, 2005
A U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Iowa ruled on February 3, 2005 in EEOC v. The Dial Corporation (# 3-02-CV-10109) that Dial's pre-employment test has a disparate impact on women applicants. Dial Corp. implemented the pre-employment test in its Armour meat packing plant in Fort Madison, Iowa, in January 2000. Prior to the test, almost half of the entry-level employees in the plant were women. With the test, however, 97% of men were able to pass, but less than 40% of the women could pass the test. The job requires employees to lift a 35-pound rod of sausages to a height of 65 inches. Paula Liles was made a conditional job offer, but then failed the so-called "work tolerance test" because of her height, since she was required to go on her toes to complete the lift. Liles filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in 2002. Dial argued the test was needed to prevent injuries, but no more women were receiving injuries than men, the test was more difficult than the job, and there were other ways to implement safety initiatives.
A federal lawsuit was filed against Terry Carlberg, a dentist in Sante Fe, New Mexico for sexually harassing a former employee, Rebecca Johnson. Johnson, who filed the claim in Sante Fe District Court, worked for Carlberg from March 2001 to March 2004 as a surgical assistant and receptionist. Johnson alleges that the dentist would spray her breasts with liquid from a syringe while she was assisting with surgery and encourage coworkers to look on, touch Johnson inappropriately and ask her to do "rain dances" for him, and talk about sex generally, making comments about Johnson's husband and her sex life. Johnson also claims that Carlberg made racist comments about Hispanic women. Johnson named Jeffrey Wheaton, co-owner of the dental practice, as a co-defendant because he knew or should have known of the sexual harassment, and failed to take action. Johnson alleges she was terminated for suing Carlberg.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") filed a sex discrimination lawsuit in a Connecticut state court against David Lerner Associates Inc., an investment firm that has offices in Connecticut, Florida, New Jersey, and New York. Former female employees filed complaints with the EEOC, alleging that one of the managers sexually harassed them by groping them, making sexual advances and gestures, making inappropriate comments, and pressuring the women to wear revealing clothes. The manager also allegedly threatened to violently retaliate against them. The women complained, but claim that Lerner never made an effort to stop the harassment, and they were forced to quit. The harassment allegedly began in the Darien, Connecticut office, and two of the women were transferred to the White Plains office in retaliation for their complaints. The lawsuit is brought on behalf of four female plaintiffs and other similarly situated women.
Twelve women filed a class-action sex discrimination lawsuit in the U.S. District Court of Manhattan against Novartis, a large pharmaceutical firm. The lawsuit, filed on February 17, 2005, alleges that Novartis has a "systemic pattern" of discriminating against women that keeps them from the better-paying jobs reserved for men. The women claim that they were not given the same training opportunities as men, they were subjected to gender hositlity, and they were penalized for exercising their rights under the Family and Medical Leave Act. One woman, Jennifer Waxman-Right, claims that she interviewed in August 2004 while she was eight months pregnant for a promotion that was given to a lesser-qualified male employee, despite the fact that Waxman-Right was the top-ranked representative in the nation for the eye drug Visudyne. Waxman-Right also claims she learned in 2002 that she was receiving $30,000 less a year than her male coworkers in similar positions. The class-action lawsuit alleges that women employees receive 10 to 20 percent less than their male counterparts.
Harvard President Lawrence H. Summers released the full text of the speech he made during the National Bureau of Economic Research's conference on women and minorities in science on January 14, 2005. Summers' comments about innate differences between men and women's ability to succeed in math and science sparked controversy. Several female professors at Harvard pressured the President to release the transcript of his comments so that the issue could be factually addressed. The text of Summers' speech show that he gave three reasons why there is less representation of women in academic science and engineering positions: (1) a reluctance of women to sacrifice family life in order to devote oneself to a "high-powered" career, (2) "intrinsic aptitude" differences between men and women, and (3) socialization and hiring discrimination, in that order. Summers wrote an apology letter to faculty members, in which he said, "My January remarks substantially understated the impact of socialization and discrimination, including implicit attitudes--patterns of thought to which all of us are unconsciously subject. The issue of gender difference is far more complex than comes through in my comments."
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed a lawsuit against V&J Foods, Inc., which owns a Burger King restaurant in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on behalf of a 16-year-old female who was terminated after she refused the sexual advances of her manager and threatened to complain to top managers. The teenager began working for Burger King in 2003, when her manager made requests for sex. She planned to complain about the harassment to the company's managers during their scheduled visit to the restaurant, but she was fired before the visit.
Heidi Moon, a veteran police officer with the Bellevue Police Department, filed a sex discrimination lawsuit in King County, Washington on February 4, 2005. Moon has been an officer with the Bellevue Police Department since 1998, where she transferred from the Department of Defense as a federal officer. Moon alleges that once she began working in Bellevue, she was asked if she was a lesbian, suffered sexual jokes during officer briefings, was given different job duties than her male coworkers, and was not given any training on the department's sexual harassment policy for the first three years of her employment there. On the night Moon finally did receive sexual harassment policy training, she claims that a lieutenant brought alcohol for everyone, encouraged Moon to drink, and offered to drive her home when she became drunk. On the way home, the lieutenant allegedly sexually assaulted Moon. Moon claims that she was retaliated against after reported the sexual assault.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed a second sexual harassment lawsuit against Wal-Mart Stores in Florida on February 17, 2005. The first sexual harassment suit was filed against the store on 2911 53rd Avenue East in Florida after two female employees complained that their manager was touching them inappropriately and making unwelcome sexual advances. The second lawsuit was filed against the same Wal-Mart store when another female employee claimed she was being harassed by different store managers. She alleged that the assistant manager made lewd and inappropriate comments, touched her, and made sexual propositions. The employee complained to the store manager, but no investigation was conducted.
Saturday, March 12, 2005
Burger King owners agreed to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commmission on behalf of seven teenage girls for $400,000. The teenage girls alleged that their restaurant manager, Nathan Kraus, groped them, used vulgar language, demanded sex, and made inappropriate comments. They complained to assistant managers, who did not respond to their complaints. The girls made a formal complaint with corporate headquarters four to five months later after they figured out how to file a complaint without going through Kraus, both the perpretrator and manager. Kraus resigned. The consent decree was filed in St. Louis District Court for approval. It requires payment of $400,000 in damages and attorneys fees, in addition to sexual harassment training for management, a new sexual harassment policy to be distributed to employees, and posting of a toll-free hotline for employees who want to make discrimination complaints. The owners of the Burger King franchise, Mid-America Hotels Corporation and Northwest Development Company, deny any liability or wrongdoing.
Butte County agreed to settle a sex discrimination lawsuit that was filed in 1999 by Carolyn Hooper, evidence control technician for the Butte-Silver Bow Law Enforcement Agency. This was the second lawsuit Hooper filed against the county for gender discrimination. The first case was settled in 1996. Hooper alleged that the county retaliated against her for the first lawsuit and for testifying in a separate sex discrimination suit in 1997, and continued to discriminate against her on the basis of sex. Hooper has worked for the county since 1972 and served as the sheriff's office supervisor since 1977. Butte County will pay Hooper a total of $120,000, which is about $15,000 per year for eight years. The county did not admit any wrongdoing. Hooper also received $64,000 in January 2005 along with legal fees in the amount of $218,000.
Shirely "Rae" Ellis filed a sex discrimination lawsuit against Costco Wholesale Corporation, a large retailer. Ellis is seeking class action status for the lawsuit on behalf of approximately 650 current and former female employees who were eligible for a promotion in the past three years at Costco's 320 stores nationwide. Ellis alleges that she left Sam's Club on the promise that she would get a top position at a Costco store. However, Ellis remained an assistant manager, and she claims that there is a "glass ceiling" at Costco leaving many women at the lower ranks. Instead of posting vacant managerial positions, Costco uses a "tap on the shouler" method, in which male executives typically pick other males.Costco's total work force is almost half women, but 90 percent of its general managers are men, and only two females out of 33 top executive positions. Brad Seligman is the lead attorney for the case, who is also leading the sex discrimination lawsuit against Walmart Stores.
A female electrician received a $2.8 million jury verdict against her former employer, the Chicago Navy Pier. Deirde Pawell filed a lawsuit against the Navy Pier in 2003, alleging sex discrimination, sexual harassment, and retaliation. Most of the discrimination centered around Pawell's decision to be a working mother. The harassment by her male coworkers and supervisors included an article that was posted on one of her timesheets that said, "A good wife always knows her place." The jury found that Pawell was refused overtime because of her sex, given especially burdensome tasks while she was pregnant and was not allowed to go to the hospital while she was hemorrhaging until after her supervisor required her to do "a few more things." Pawell was also transferred to a less-desirable position when she told her employer she was pregnant. The Navy Pier is appealing the ruling, and Pawell is seeking an injunction so that she can get her job back.
Susan Hockfield was named the first female President at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in August 2004. Hockfiled replaced retiring Charles Vest. MIT has traditionally been known as a male-dominated university that specializes in engineering. Dr. Hockfiled, a neuroscientist, was provost of Yale University before accepting the presidency. In 1999 female faculty members at MIT issued a report that said women were suffering from discrimination (intentional and unintentional).
Lowana Smith, a probation department food service worker, agreed to settle a sex discrimination lawsuit with Alameda County for $100,000. Smith originally filed the lawsuit in May 2003, claiming that her supervisor sexually harassed her, denied her promotions, and gave her poor work evaluations. Smith alleged that the harassment began with lewd comments and propositions, but that it soon escalated into inappropriate touching and groping, such as trying to remove her clothing. The county did not admit to any wrongdoing.
Two former female administrators filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against Newman University in Kansas, alleging sex discrimination. Marla Sexson, former Dean of Admissions who was at the University for 12 years, alleges that she wanted the position of Vice President of Enrollment Management, but that the President of the University, Aidan Dunleavy, was only willing to hire a man for the position. Sexson also claims Dunleavy told her not to hire pregnant women. Tara Morrow, former Director of Transition Programs for seven years, also claims that she was told Dunleavy only wanted men for two positions she was interested in, and that Dunleavy made derogatory comments about pregnant women in front of people. Both Sexson and Morrow have children and filed the lawsuit because they believe Dunleavy discriminates against pregnant women and women with young children in hiring and promotion decisions.
Governor Jeb Bush of Florida fired Terry White, head of the state agency that handles elder affairs, after receiving sexual harassment complaints about him. At least three women in the department claimed that White sexually harassed them. An investigation was completed by General Counsel Raquel Rodriguez after a complaint was received. Rodriguez found the allegations credible and recommended disciplinary action.
The EEOC and Home Depot Stores agreed to resolve a sex, race and national origin discrimination lawsuit for $5.5 million. The lawsuit was filed in federal district court against Home Depot on behalf of hundreds of employees in Colorado stores who experienced a hostile work environment since 1995. The suit also alleged that women and minority employees received unequal pay for equal work. Under the terms of the settlement, $3 million will be given to 38 employees. The remaining $2.5 million will be a workers' settlement fund "for other individuals who were harmed by the alleged unlawful conduct" from January 2000 onward. Home Depot did not admit to any wrongdoing. The EEOC said it will continue to monitor Home Depot stores as part of the settlement, and Home Depot will keep records of discrimination and conduct anti-discrimination training. The plaintiffs were required to sign confidentiality agreements.
The New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that juries are allowed to consider embarassment and mental anguish in determining whether to award emotional distress damages in sexual harassment cases. The ruling, which came on August 9, 2004, creates a lower standard for emotional distress claims in sexual harassment cases since plaintiffs must normally show severe emotional or physical ailments in order to receive emotional distress damages. The ruling said, "No reasonable woman can be expected to have endured the constant and prolonged barrage of the extraordinarily demeaning and degrading sexual harassment to which this plaintiff was subjected without humiliation, embarrassment and loss of personal dignity and that was the emotional distress to which she testified."
Sherry Towers, a physics researcher, filed a sex discrimination lawsuit against Stony Brook for placing her on the "mommy track" after becoming pregnant with her second child. Towers claims that she had an "exemplary record," received a promotion, and discovered a new particle while working for Stony Brook's Run II Dzero particle research and analysis program, which she began in 2000. However, when she announced her pregnancy, Towers was allegedly told by her supervisor, John Hobbs, that she had to return immediately if she wanted a good recommendation. If not, Hobbs said he would cut her pay if she took more than three weeks maternity leave, even though federal law guarantees a longer leave under the Family Medical Leave Act, and Stony Brook's own maternity-leave policy granted longer leaves. Towers returned to work when her newborn was less than 3 weeks old, and she alleges that other employees were given more time off for other leaves of absence not related to pregnancy.Stony Brook said it would not extend Towers' contract beyond March 2005, and she has received a poor recommendation from Hobbs, which is hurting her job prospects. Towers was allegedly the first employee within the university's physics department to have a child in over 15 years.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed a lawsuit in a Chicago U.S. District Court against three Cracker Barrel restaurants in Tennesee for sex and race discrimination. The three defendant Cracker Barrel restaurants are located in Matteson, Mattoon, and Bloomington. The EEOC began investigating claims of race and sex discrimination after it received complaints in 2000 and 2001. It found that Cracker Barrel restaurants were not responding to complaints, and calls made to the hotline for discrimination complaints were ignored and went unanswered. The lawsuit is for discrimination occurring from 1998 onward. The EEOC has filed the federal lawsuit on behalf of at least 10 women who allege that pornographic materials were passed around the restaurants, and the women were propositioned and grabbed. Derogatory comments were also made against African Americans, such as being "lazy". Black employees were often allegedly assigned to wait on black customers if white servers said they did not want to serve them. Cracker Barrel's spokeswoman said it does not tolerate discrimination.
The City of Glendale agreed to pay $4 million to settle a sex discrimination lawsuit brought by three former police officers who claimed they were sexually harassed and retaliated against for complaining. By agreeing to settle the case, Glendale avoids an appeal of the jury verdict and a separate lawsuit brought by the officers claiming defamation for comments made by the city's attorneys during the trial. The jury awarded the three officers $3.5 million, finding Glendale negligent in failing to stop the sexual harassment that occurred in the late 1980s through the mid-1990s. Glendale planned to appeal the case, but instead chose to settle to avoid additional expenses, but it admits no wrongdoing. The law firm Liebert Cassidy Whitmore will pay $1 million of the settlement. One of the officers will receive a lifetime pension benefit in addition to her portion of the settlement.
Sunday, February 27, 2005
Morgan Stanley, a Wall Street brokerage firm, agreed to settle a class action sex discrimination lawsuit filed against it by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Allison Schieffelin, a former bond trader at Morgan Stanley, filed charges with the EEOC in November 1995, after which she claims she was retaliated against. The EEOC was prepared to introduce testimony that female employees were excluded from social events with clients, which included visits to strip clubs and golfing resorts. The female employees allege that they were subjected to offensive comments, jokes, and derogatory terms, such as "bitch." Additionally, the EEOC alleges that Morgan Stanley did not handle complaints of discrimination consistently or appropriately, and written promotion and compensation decisions did not exist or were inadequate. U.S. District Judge Richard M. Berman approved the consent decree, which requires Morgan Stanley to implement diversity programs in order to equalize pay between men and women and promotions of female employees. Morgan Stanley did not admit to any fault and denies that women were discriminated against. However, the 340 women who were part of the class will each receive a share of the $40 million claims fund. The lead plaintiff, Schieffelin, received $12 million. Morgan Stanley must train its employees on sex discrimination and diversity, which will include performance reviews, compensation, promotion, assignment of accounts, pregnancy, maternity leave and maternal status. Morgan Stanley must perform a comparative analysis of female and male employees who hold the same positions with regard to their compensation and promotions.
A week after Morgan Stanley agreed to settle its sex discrimination suit for $54 million, Boeing Company also agreed to settle a class action discrimination suit brought against it for between $40.6 million and $72.5 million (dependent on the number of women in the class who had a valid claim). The class action was brought on behalf of up to 29,000 current and former female employees of Boeing plants in Seattle, Washington from the beginning of 1997 through May 2004. Each class member is eligible for up to $500. Boeing performed an internal investigation, which showed that it was systematically paying females less than males. It agreed to settle before trial. As part of the agreement, Boeing agreed to revise its employment and compensation practices. The settlement was approved by U.S. Judge Marsha Pechman.
Five former employees filed a sex discrimination lawsuit against Aztar Casino in U.S. District Court. In February 2004, another former employee of Aztar filed a retaliation suit after complaining about pressure to only hire women with large breasts to work at the bar and serve alcoholic beverages. In this suit, the plaintiffs claim that they were pressured for sexual favors, and the riverboat casino did nothing to stop the sexual harassment cocktail waitresses were subjected to, which included demeaning comments, leering, and unwelcome offensive sexual remarks by male supervisors. When the women complained, they allege they were retaliated against and their complaints were not acted upon.
A settlement was reached between Kristina Wolf and the Livermore (CA) Police Department. Wolf, the first female captain in Livermore, filed the complaint on October 23, 2003, claiming that she was denied a promotion to Police Chief solely because of her sex. She also alleged the the current Police Chief, Steve Krull, created a hostile work environment. The case was settled for $360,000.
A state court awarded Jeanelle Petruzzi $113,000 in a sex discrimination suit that was filed against Lutheran Welfare Services of Northeastern Pennsylvania Inc., which was doing business as St. Luke Manor in Hazelton, Pennsylvania. Petruzzi, a licensed practical nurse, said that she was fired for being pregnant, even though she was performing satisfactorily. The ruling was upheld on appeal.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed charges against Comprehensive Benefits Consultants, a benefits administration company in Melville, New York, in July 2004. Two former employees of Comprehensive filed complaints with the EEOC alleging sexual harassment. Up to 10 more current and former female employees may be added to the suit. The women allege that the owner of Comprehensive and his son made inappropriate and obscene comments toward them, touched them inappropriately by hugging and grabbing them, and gave them sexual jokes to read at work. The complaint said that one of the defendants told plaintiff Laura Hart that he wanted to have sex with her and that "she would enjoy every minute of it."
Monday, February 21, 2005
Twenty years ago San Francisco instituted a preference program that promoted women and minority businesses in city contracts. However, in July 2004 Judge Warren ruled that San Francisco was prohibited from enforcing the law because the voters passed Proposition 209, which made it unlawful to grant preferential treatment to a group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin. The city is planning to appeal the decision. The preference program took 10 percent off of bids submitted by women and minority subcontractors when comparing them with estimates submitted by predominantly white male subcontractors. The city was also required to hire a certain percentage of women and minority subcontractors, or at least to make an effort to meet stated goals.
Fifth Third resolved sexual harassment charges brought against it by agreeing to a consent decree in July 2004. In the summer of 2003, Carrie Collander Spillane complained about the sexual harassment she and other female employees experienced at Fifth Third's Fox River Development Group. The lawsuit alleged that female employees were subjected to sexual harassment and a hostile work environment, leading many women to resign. Fifth Third did not admit any fault, but said it decided to settle the issue to avoid the expenses of litigation. The bank agreed to conduct harassment-avoidance training. It did not give back pay or punitive damages to the four plaintiffs, because the women found comparable jobs after leaving, and each party paid their own legal expenses.
Marisa Ann Tusa, former administrative assistant, and Kelly Teresa McMahon, former office clerk, filed a sex discrimination lawsuit against their Mohave County Supervisor Buster Johnson and Mohave County in July 2004. Tusa and McMahon first filed their charges with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which found probable cause for their allegations. The EEOC found that Johnson had forced the women to look at pornographic pictures that involved violent acts against women and sexual acts between people and animals. Johnson allegedly made sexual comments and gave sexually explicit gifts and cards to Tusa, whom he had a prior relationship with. Both of the women claim that they were retaliated against after they reported the harassment. Tusa was put on administrative leave, and McMahon was transferred after allegedly being followed and videotaped by Johnson. Johnson claims that the charges are false.
Figures leaked to the press show that women working in the White House make only 78 percent of what men working in the White House make. Washington Post researcher Margot Williams found that men earn, on average, $76,624 per year, while women earn, on average, only $59,917 per year. All of the employees included in the salary figures were hired after President George Bush took office in 2000. Men and women in similar positions earn similar pay, but men occupy most of the "high-end" positions. Twelve out of the seventeen top-earners in the White House are men.
Sunday, February 20, 2005
Shari Gress, a former Admissions Director, filed a federal lawsuit against Madison Cosmetology College in July 2004, accusing the college's owner of sexually harassing her. Gress alleges that the owner, Bruce Bennett, subjected her to a hostile environment when he made repeated unwelcome sexual advances and requested sexual favors. Bennett allegedly subjected Gress to quid pro quo sexual harassment when he asked her for sex at a holiday party; when Gress refused, Bennett told her that he was cancelling an agreement they had made to give Gress equity in the business. Gress filed a complaint at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, after which she alleges Bennett began retaliating against her by deleting her computer files, messing with her mail, and conducting an "investigation" in which he tried to humiliate her. This forced Gress to quit.
Four female police officers filed a sex discrimination lawsuit in federal court in July 2004 against the Witchita Police Department in Kansas. The named plaintiffs are officers Greta Semsroth, Kim Warehime, Sara Voyles, and Heather Plush. They are seeking class action status so that the suit can be brought on behalf of hundreds of current and former female officers. The female officers claim that they "have been denied, based on their sex, desirable job assignments, promotional opportunities, supervisory positions, training, equal pay, bonuses, and other benefits." They were allegedly retaliated against when they complained or reported discrimination. One woman claims that a fellow officer told her he had raped another women and then exposed himself to her the following day. After she reported the incident, no investigation was conducted, and she was threatened so she would not press charges. Male officers allegedly made comments about female officers who wore makeup and made derogatory remarks about female crime victims. The lawsuit claims that male officers received overtime compensation, but women were denied overtime when they had to stay beyond their shift for a case. The special units within the department that led to promotions were only comprised of men as of May 24, 2003.
Melissa Page filed a federal lawsuit in Chicago against Pricewaterhouse Coopers LLP, one of the largest public accounting firms in the world, alleging that she was discriminated against on the basis of her sex. Page joined Pricewaterhouse after gaining 11 years as a tax consultant as a "senior manager," one level below partner. In her lawsuit, Page alleges that Pricewaterhouse excluded women from partnership positions and created a corporate culture that denied women opportunities to advance. She alleged that while half of the entry-level associates were women, only 9 percent of the partners were women. Page worked on large corporate accounts during her tenure at Pricewaterhouse and received good evaluations. However, Page alleges that she was not allowed to attend the majority of social gatherings with clients, which forced her to create her own social gatherings by hosting lunches and dinners at her house with clients. On one occasion when some employees were going to Las Vegas, Page claims she was told, "15 guys are going to Las Vegas, do you really want to go?" Pricewaterhouse has a mentoring program, but Page alleges that she was not allowed to have a mentor because she was believed to be too aggressive and did not subordinate herself enough to Daniel McConeghy, her boss. Page is seeking to certify the case as a class action on behalf of current and former female employees at Pricewaterhouse's facilities nationwide.
Saturday, February 19, 2005
When Rebecca Collins filed a federal sexual harassment lawsuit against Hamilton County Prosecutor Mike Allen and Hamilton County's Commissioners, she asked for a $3 million settlement. Collins, former assistant prosecutor, had an extended extramarital fair with Mike Allen, and then sued him for sexual harassment and discrimination. On January 24, 2005, Collins' attorney, Randy Freking, received a phone call from Mike Allen's attorney, Michael Hawkins, offering to settle the case for $45,000 plus attorneys fees. Collins accepted the offer. However, the case has not been settled on behalf of the County Commissioners, who say they will continue to fight Collins and plan on going to court. Collins claims that she is still pursuing the case with the Commissioners because her affair with Allen was so well-known, that they should have intervened or protected her from Allen's advances.
The Chicago Bar Assocation is challenging law firms in the area to promote more women to become partners. This initiative was created because women, while making up at least 40 percent of law schools, only comprise 18.12 percent of partnership positions in Chicago. This number is better than the national rate of 17 percent. The goal is for law firms in Chicago to increase the number of women promoted to partner by at least three percent by January 2008. The American Bar Association said that of general counsels at Fortune 500 companies, women constitute only 15 percent, and women comprise only 32.8 percent of faculty at law schools. This contributes to the lower wage that female attorneys receive: 76 cents to the male lawyer's dollar.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission found that the Richland Operations Office for Hanford of the Department of Energy discriminated against Geneva Ellis-Balone because of her color, Black, and sex, female. Ellis-Balone became pregnant in 1997 and requested to telecommute. The DOE requested additional information from her and made her wait a month before giving her a response, even though male employees who requested to telecommute were not asked additional questions, and their requests were approved within 10 days. By the time the DOE Human Resources Department asked Ellis-Balone's for the "additional information," her condition had worsened, and she had to use a heart monitor. Human Resources said they had to do a home inspection, but no home inspections were required of male employees who wanted to telecommute. Another woman experienced a similar situation to Ellis-Balone.Ellis-Balone was also denied advance sick leave. The EEOC found that the DOE had a policy of denying advance sick leave to pregnant women, which was sex discrimination. Ellis-Balone said that "she felt emotionally and physically drained by having to meet the unreasonable demands" of the DOE's Human Resources Department. The EEOC's decision was upheld on appeal. The DOE is required to pay Ellis-Balone $100,000, plus $35,060 in attorneys fees and $3,500 in costs. Human Resource management staff is required to undergo sex and race discrimination training, and disciplinary action may be taken against those who participated in the discrimination against Ellis-Balone. The DOE must post a notice in its Richland Operations Office for Hanford saying that it discriminated against one of its employees on the basis of race and sex for 60 days in a "conspicuous" place.
The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in Jespersen v. Harrah's Casino in December 2004 that female employees at Harrah's casino in Reno, Nevada could be terminated for refusing to wear makeup. Bartender Darlene Jespersen was fired in the year 2000 when she refused to wear makeup, after working there for 21 years. The casino had a "Personal Best Image" Policy that employees were required to abide by, which stated, "makeup (foundation/concealer and/or face powder, as well as blush and mascara) must be worn and applied neatly in complimentary colors," and "lip color must be worn at all times."Jespersen said that she refused to wear the makeup because it would require her to confrom to a feminine stereotype. Besides, she testified, her wearing or not wearing makeup had nothing to do with her ability to serve drinks. In fact, Harrah's casino said that Jesperson gave "highly effective" service. For more information, see Jespersen v. Harrah's Casino, Case No. 03-15045.
Barbara Barthel began working for the Madeira and Indian Hill Joint Fire District as a part-time firefighter and emergency technician in February 1995. She was 49 years old at the time. Barthel expressed interest in obtaining a full-time position, but she was repeatedly passed over, and younger males with less experience were hired or made full-time instead when there was a job opening. Once when she raised the issue, Barthel was told by Chief Steven Ashbrock that because she was a female and too old, he would never hire her to work full-time. Barthel believes that the fire district has a pattern of refusing to hire females and applicants over the age of 40 for full-time positions. After eight years on the job, she filed a sex and age discrimination suit in Hamilton County. On January 27, 2005, the jury awarded Barthel $253,000, $63,000 of which was for back pay, and $190,000 for punitive damages.
During a speech on the underrepresentation of women in science in mid-January 2005, Harvard President Larry Summers made comments that reminded may women of the long-held prejudices against women in the workplace. Summers gave suggested explanations for why women were scoring lower than men on standardized tests in math and science, one of which was that the differences are genetic. Women, he said, lack the "innate ability" to do match and science. Nancy Hopkins, a biology professor at MIT, walked out on the speech, angered by Summers' remarks. Summers issued a formal apology following the event, saying, "I deeply regret the impact of my comments and apologize for not having weighed them more carefully." The evidence tends to disagree with Summers' remarks. Boys' and girls' test scores average the same, and many studies have shown that lower scores in certain areas are related to sex discrimination and other social factors.
Seven female plaintiffs filed a federal sex and age discrimination lawsuit against Thunder Valley Casino in January 2005. The plaintiffs are former employees of the casino, where they allege they suffered egregious sexual harassment. Curtis Broome, director of information technology at the casino, was accused of sexual harassment by some of the plaintiffs, who say that he forced himself on the women sexually and forcefully kissed them. When the women complained, they were transferred and/or fired. One woman said she was forced to quit to avoid Broome. The Thunder Valley Casino may be immune from suit, however, because the Auburn Indian Community owns Thunder Valley. The Supreme Court has ruled that tribes have sovereign immunity since they are sovereign nations. It is questionable whether the individually named defendants can still be held liable. The casino has an employee handbook that contains a no harassment policy and complaint procedures.
the City of Huntington, Huntington Police Department, and Police Chief Arthur "Gene" Baumgardner in his official capacity. Swann became a patrol officer in December 2001, but was laid off in 2002. After being rehired as a dayshift patrol officer in February 2003, Swann claims that she was subjected to unwelcome conduct based on her sex by her colleagues and superiors that created a hostile work environment. The suit alleges that Swann "suffered serious emotional distress" due to "exposure to the unlawful discrimination and harassment in the workplace." In addition to the harassment, Swann alleges that she was denied professional advancement.
Ann Golombowski became a police officer in Oak Creek in 1989. She has performed well in the testing system, and applied for a promotion to detective in 1998, 2000, 2003, and 2004, only to lose it to a male candidate each time. Golombowski's allegations are that in 2003, the male candidate chosen had been on several personal improvement plans, and Golombowski's evaluations were better than his. After 13 months, this detective was demoted, so the detective position became available again. In 2003, Golombowski finished first in the selection process, but her police chief wanted to start a new process for the 2004 opening. The male candidate chosen in 2004 had less experience than Golombowski, even though he had only been there one year longer than she had. Golombowski filed a sex discrimination suit in federal court for failure to promote based on her gender on January 24, 2005.
The San Francisco Fire Commission has been discussing two different sexual harassment suits brought by female firefighters. In one suit, Kris Odlaug, a firefighter in the Richmond District, claimed that acting Captain Thomas Doudiet was aware of the sex discrimination toward her, which included profanity and unwelcome jokes and comments, but did nothing to stop it or report it. The Fire Commission decided to reprimand Doudiet, rather than suspend him, for failing to act on the situation. He must undergo sexual harassment prevention training and, if he passes the test to become captain, cannot begin receiving captain's pay until 2006. Another firefighter, Robert Palu, was fired, and Clyde Watarai was suspended for 20 days. The case is still unresolved, however.Rebecca Sturtz, another female firefighter, brought a sexual harassment suit in 2003 based on circulation of a publication called the "Smoke Eater's Gazette" that was passed around the stations. The "Smoke Eater's Gazette" was published by retired firefighters, and it referred to female firefighters as "cowards," "pulse-checkers," "ax caddies," and asked people to nominate the "10 most useless women firefighters." Sturtz named the Fire Department in the suit for allowing the gazette to circulate and the individual authors. There were allegations in the gazette concerning Sturtz individually, such as claiming she had asthma and that she had a "doctor's note from her daddy" excusing her from fighting fires. An internal investigation was conducted into the false asthma claims, during which point Sturtz was harassed. The Fire Commission was considering a $65,000 settlement.
Alice Foster, a former Witchita, Kansas police officer, decided to sue the Witchita Police Department for sexual harassment. The Kansas Human Rights Commission issued her a "right-to-sue" letter after it completed its investigation. Foster joined the police force in 1999, after graduating third out of a police academy class of 23. Foster alleges that one of her partners started making unwelcome sexual comments almost immediately after she began working there, and that one of the sergeants repeatedly propositioned her and made unwelcome visits to her home. On one occasion, the sergeant allegedly asked Foster to perform a striptease on his desk when she was seven months pregnant. Foster claims that she complained about the sexual harassment to her lieutenant and captain, but no action was taken. Foster said that she felt forced to resign in the spring of 2003 after enduring the harassment for 4 years on the job. This is the second sex discrimination lawsuit filed against the Witchita Police Department since July 2004.
Friday, November 12, 2004
As the nation celebrates the 40th anniversary of the signing into law of the Civil Rights Act, the landmark law prohibiting workplace discrimination based on race, sex and religion, Congressional leaders are fighting back Bush administration attacks to weaken the federal agency in charge of enforcing U.S. anti-discrimination laws. 9to5 salutes Rep. Stephanie Tubbs-Jones (D-OH) for her work to help save the EEOC from a plan of drastic cuts. In 2003, the President’s appointed EEOC chair, Cari Dominguez, came up with a plan to close field offices –as many as 41 of the 51 current EEOC branches – and outsource questions and complaints to a private national call center of lower-paid, contract employees. (read more...)9 to 5: National Association of Working Women
Faced with charges of sex discrimination in the workplace, Morgan Stanley agreed yesterday to pay a $54 million settlement rather than stand trial. The lawsuit, settled with the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), came just minutes before an EEOC lawyer would have switched on a projector and displayed statistical evidence against the firm. Female employees claimed that the company systematically denied them equal pay and promotions, and excluded the women from meeting with clients, often setting up male-only functions at strip clubs and golf games, according to Bloomberg.com. (read more...)Feminist Majority Foundation
Many argue that women's prospects in the labor market have steadily increased and that any small remaining gap in earnings between women and men is not significant. They see the remaining differences as resulting from women’s own choices. Others believe that with women now graduating from college at a higher rate than men and with the economy continuing its shift toward services, work and earnings differences between women and men may disappear entirely. (read more...)Institute for Women's Policy Research
A federal judge in San Francisco yesterday granted class-action status to a lawsuit against Wal-Mart filed by six current and former Wal-Mart employees who accuse the retail giant of systemic sex discrimination. The lawsuit now potentially covers some 1.6 million current and former female Wal-Mart employees, going as far back as late 1998. (read more...)Feminist Majority Foundation