Topic: gender pay gap
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July 24, 2013 at 7:06 PM
Women are at fault
Seattle City Council member Jean Godden’s guest column failed to identify the real and obvious reason for the gender pay gap: women’s choices. [“Closing the gender pay gap,” Opinion, July 23.]
Instead, she disingenuously implied that the city is violating the Equal Pay Act. She wrote, “Too many women struggle to get by on less for the same work.” She knows better.
In fact, when the pay is different, women are obviously not doing “the same work.” Godden correctly point out that men dominate in departments that pay more and in higher executive positions overall.
Is the city illegally discriminating against its women employees when issuing promotions? She knows it’s not true, otherwise their would be lawsuits.
Does the city illegally discriminate in its hiring of police officers, firefighters or city light, high-paying departments? She knows they don’t. In fact, the opposite is true!
Everyone knows that the city bends over backward to hire women. They caved in to the women who demanded to be treated unequally by lowering the minimum physical standards required.
Women are making the choices that benefit themselves. Fewer women than men want those hard, dirty, high-paying jobs. And, most likely, not as many women actually aspire to be supervisors or high-level executives. Unlike many men, whose identities and egos are inordinately tied to advancing in their careers despite the sacrifices required, many women realize that there is much more to life than advancing in a career.
Many women freely choose to take a break from their career to raise their children. Why is that “maddening” to Godden?
Doug Hjellen, Mill Creek
June 14, 2013 at 6:02 AM
Life is full of choices
Letter writer Gina Petry calls for free developmental child care, labeling it a human right that would help end gender-pay disparity [“Give money to needy, not greedy,” Northwest Voices, June 12]. In doing so, she misses the essence of the American system.
We should all have the opportunity to succeed, but our success should be dependent on our choices and is not, nor should it be, guaranteed. Life is full of choices, including the decision to have children. If one selects the path of a certain profession or a part-time career, the economic consequences are of his or her own making. It is not the responsibility of others to subsidize those individuals.
Richard Hawley, Bellevue
June 12, 2013 at 6:32 AM
Give money to needy, not greedy
Thanks to Jerry Large for his insightful column on the gender pay gap and its causes [“Wider look at gender pay gap,” NWMonday, June 10]. I agree that a lot of the problem boils down to the lack of affordable, high-quality child care and lack of paid maternity leave. Other major factors are the demise of affirmative action — which particularly impacts women of color — and the care burden placed on women when funding for human services is slashed.
I strongly believe that free, public, developmental child care is a human right and a social responsibility, just like the right to free public education. How to pay for it? It’s simple — wealthy corporations and Washington’s superrich should be taxed through a steeply graduated income and profits tax. The money’s there, but it’s going to the greedy instead of the needy.
Gina Petry, Seattle
May 5, 2013 at 6:32 AM
Councilmember Harrell sees gender pay gap as a top priority
I was surprised by the mayoral candidates’ responses at the recent debates regarding Seattle’s gender wage gap [“Mayoral candidates debate troubles with Police Department,” page one, April 30]. The only candidate to give a good answer was City Councilmember Bruce Harrell.
While other candidates demonstrated a lack of knowledge about the severity of Seattle’s wage gap or empathy for those fighting for pay equality, Harrell was aware of the issue and had taken action.
Seattle has the largest wage disparity of 50 metropolitan areas, with a difference of more than $16,000 between men and women. Harrell is the leader on addressing this issue. He has reached out to the Seattle Women’s Commission for help in creating policy recommendations. He has set clear goals, recognizing the importance of institutional practices and cultural awareness in eliminating the wage gap.
We want Seattle to be a fair and equal city. Harrell is the candidate who will find and institute changes that need to be made. As a Seattle community volunteer, I prefer Harrell as Seattle’s next mayor in the fight for gender pay equality and social justice in this region.
Trisha May, founder, Athena Partners, Medina
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