We no longer live in a world where only the man of the house works and brings home the bacon for his family. We live in a world where women are in the workplace in a huge way and in many cases are actually the ones making the most money for their family. According to Pew Research Center, a “record 40% of all households with children under the age of 18 include mothers who are either the sole or primary source of income for the family.” This is compared to just 11% back in 1960. That being said, it is clearly unfair for women to make less than a man in the workplace if they are doing the exact same job. But this is precisely what currently goes on.
President Obama, among others, believes the current circumstances need to be improved.
“A woman’s got to work about three more months in order to get what a man got, because she’s paid less,” Mr. Obama said, speaking at a White House event. “That’s not fair. That’s like adding an extra 6 miles to a marathon.”
This really puts things into perspective. First of all, I can’t imagine running 26.2 miles to begin with, but to add another 6 onto that? That is nuts. And it really is not fair. Especially when we have come to a point where women need to be paid equally to men in the workplace. With so many women being the sole or at least primary source of income for their families in this day and age, it is just not right for them to be getting this sort of unfair treatment.
Just yesterday, President Obama signed two executive actions having to do with equal pay among different genders and their work for federal contractors. The one that I think will have more of an impact will require federal contractors to give the Labor Department data consisting of employees’ pay given their gender and race. If I had to take a wild guess, these companies would not like it if the Labor Department knew they were paying men and women different salaries for the same positions. Hopefully this new executive action will have a positive impact on closing the wage gap between men and women.
Moving forward, it seems that more and more women will probably become the sole or primary moneymaker for their family (at least getting close to the 50% mark). And even if it were to stay at the current 40% level a change must be made. It seems especially important among single mothers, which make up 63% of the so-called “breadwinner moms”; and it is important for married mothers who happen to bring home more money than their husbands as well. Equal pay needs to happen, and hopefully the two executive actions, which President Obama signed yesterday, will be the start of this change.