In my first post,I discussed how the gender wage gap is different for different types of women. It varies based on both age and race. Some of my research for this post included finding some more statistics about the inequalities between men and women in the workforce. I learned that a woman with a masters degree makes about the same as a man with a Bachelor’s Degree. A woman with a Bachelor’s Degree make around the same amount of money with a man with an Associate’s Degree. Women also tend to go for sub-majors that do not pay as much. For example, women hold 56% of jobs in biological and life science while they only hold 17% of engineering jobs.
For my original research, I conducted an interview with Laura Mattiacci. She is a partner at Console Mattiacci Law. This is a law firm that focuses on representing people who have been treated unfairly at work. She got into this type of law because she wanted to be able to represent people who could not speak for themselves.
After school on the day of the of the interview, I went down to the office. I get down there and I told the security guard in the building that I was there to see Ms.Mattiacci, the security guard called up to her office and they said that she is not in the building. I am then told that my interview was supposed to be over the phone. At this point it was around 4:25 (my interview was scheduled for 4:30), so I did not have time to go home and do this interview. After getting some advice I went back into the building and asked if there was office I could sit in to do my interview. They said yes and I went up to their offices. Once I got on the phone with Ms.Mattiacci she said that she had not been notified of this interview, and had no idea what she was supposed to be talking about. Below are my questions as well as a few notes.
In the interview, she told me about how the best way to prevent wage discrimination based on gender is by being transparent about how much people are making.If people know what others are making, they can know if they are being paid fairly. One way to promote this is through unions. In a union, where everyone is fighting for the same cause. She said that many people do not know that they are being paid unfairly.
She also told me about the Lilly Ledbetter Act which talks about how long you can wait to sue for unfair pay. That was the last law passed about the gender pay gap. Ms. Mattiacci said she does not predict that any new legislation will happen until the current administration is not in power. Sadly, she said that as of now we are going back in time when with wage inequality. After my interview, I am still wondering what I personally can do. It does not seem like there is much of a movement about this issue.
To go with this interview I also read an interview with NPR where a woman from an Icelandic Women’s Rights Organization was talking about a system that they are using to prevent the wage gap. This system involves an audit for businesses that have 25 or more employees. This makes sure that these companies are paying their workers what they deserve based on how much work they are doing for the company. If a company realizes that they are not paying their employees equally they are required to fix it so that their employees are being paid what they deserve. This has surprisingly resulted in raised for men as well as women. Since the program is quite expensive they are starting with the biggest companies and are hoping to make there way down to smaller ones eventually.
For my activism stage of this project, I am considering doing something that is based on awareness towards this issue. This may include creating a website about this issue or maybe creating flyers or posters about this issue. I hope that I will be able to do something that helps the women of tomorrow be paid what they deserve.