Have you heard the buzz about a bill in Congress that aims to level the playing field for working women? It's called the Paycheck Fairness Act, and we thought you might like the scoop on it -- since its outcome could affect your bottom line.
What is the Paycheck Fairness Act?
According to the U.S. Government Accountability Office, women in general lag behind men in the workforce. As of 2007, women make up just 40% of managers and earn 81 cents for every dollar a man earns. And despite workplace gains moms have made over the past few decades, they continue to earn less than men and even their childless female peers.
The Paycheck Fairness Act was introduced in 2009 by then Senator Hillary Clinton to address limitations of the Equal Pay Act and to help complement the Lily Ledbetter Act. This legislation would make it easier for women to sue employers who pay them less than men. The House passed the bill in 2009, but it failed to clear the Senate. President Barack Obama has called on Congress to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act this year.
Who's supporting it (and why)?
Those who support the Paycheck Fairness Act include President Barack Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (who introduced it as a senator) and organizations such as the National Women's Law Center, Moms Rising, NOW, ACLU, AAUW, AFL-CIO and many others.
Supporters say the Paycheck Fairness Act would:
- Give women the right to know what their male colleagues earn so that they'll know whether they're experiencing discrimination.
- Help correct the effects of discriminatory pay practices by updating the Equal Pay Act of 1963.
- Protect workers who share their own salary information from retaliation by their employers.
- Make employers more accountable for showing that pay differentials are not based on gender discrimination and serve a legitimate business purpose.
Who's against it (and why)?
Those who oppose the Paycheck Fairness Act include conservative pundits such as Christine Sommers and Michelle Malkin, as well as groups such as the National Federation of Independent Businesses, the Heritage Foundation, House Minority Leader John Boehner, and moderate Republican senators Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe.
Opponents say the Paycheck Fairness Act would:
- Cause excessive litigation on the small-business community
- Give a windfall to trial lawyers, exposing employers to unlimited punitive damages.
- Allow companies to have less flexibility in addressing different salary histories for new hires, different salary demands from existing employees and the size of pay raises for people promoted into new roles.
What can you do?
Read the bill for yourself. Do your own research and make up your mind. Then, contact your senators and share your thoughts on the Paycheck Fairness Act.
Education: University of Vermont, 1986, BS in Business Administration
Professional Experience: 20 years of agency and client-side experience in staffing, advertising and client service:
- Regional Vice President - Boston at Mom Corps
- VP/Director, Staffing at Digitas
- VP/Marketing Director at Strategic Interactive Group
- Marketing Programs Manager at Nets Inc
- Account Executive at Bronner Slosberg Humphrey
- Assistant Account Executive at Ingalls Quinn and Johnson
What specifically drew you to Mom Corps?
I left my “corporate job” because I was unable to set and manage my own priorities. I felt like everything was driven by my schedule as opposed to the importance of what needed to happen. So I might be missing my son’s play because I had to be in the office for a mandatory half-hour weekly department meeting. Or I’d have a free day with no meetings, only to have to pay the nanny overtime because someone called a last-minute meeting at 6 and needed something by 8.
When I got a call from Mom Corps, I didn’t hesitate. Even though I had planned to take 18 months off, I decided to join the firm right away. Not only do I get to help women find positions that allow them the flexibility to have fulfilling careers and manage their personal lives, I get to live the Mom Corps model myself.
What industries do you feel have the most potential for flexibility in Boston?
I think potential has less to do with industry than it does growth stage of the company. I have had most luck working with companies that are beyond start-up, but not yet fully established. They tend to have 100-200 employees, and plans to double in size over the next year. Often they need specific subject matter experts, but they don’t have the budget to add full-time employees. To date, I have focused primarily on innovative new media and marketing companies, but I also see a lot of potential in the healthcare, financial services and technology sectors.
What’s your favorite Boston activity to do with your family?
We live just south of Boston in Milton, MA and are fortunate to have the Blue Hills Reservation in our backyard. My husband, boys and I enjoy skiing at our local “hill” in the winter, and hiking/taking in nature year round.
What’s your go-to stress reliever after a hard day on the new job?
Helping my sons with their French homework is my after-work activity! I usually relieve my stress before work with a pilates or yoga class.
This fall, as many many parents prepare to send their kids back to school, Mom Corps is wondering if there are more working moms also preparing to head back to work this year. What have you noticed among your friends, family members, community, and networks?
Answer the poll below and be entered to win a $15 Starbucks gift card - poll closes on 9/17 and our winner will be notified that afternoon via email.
Thanks for your participation!