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Opinion Northwest

Join the informed writers of The Times' editorial board in lively discussions at our blog, Opinion Northwest.

Topic: discrimination

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April 14, 2014 at 6:21 AM

Forum: The gender pay gap is real. Have you been affected?

The wage gap between men and women is pervasive. Whether the national average difference is 77 percent, according to the National Partnership for Women and Families, or 84 percent, according to the Pew Research Center, male employees still have an advantage.

That’s just wrong. Women deserve equal pay for doing the same work as their male peers and an equal shot at climbing up the success ladder.

The gap has closed over the years, but as Pew notes in the video below, progress is slowing down. Take a look:

Have you personally experienced pay inequities in your career? What do you think is the cause of this? Do you have ideas for solutions to close the gap? Scroll down to the form at the end of this post and tell us.

First, take a look at Saturday’s Seattle Times editorial supporting the city’s efforts to close inequities within its own ranks. The narrative is a familiar one. Many lower-wage jobs tend to be held by women, while most of the higher-paying jobs and leadership positions are held by men.

The same trends apply nationwide. The current system limits upward mobility, but there’s hope for change as employers start to analyze the root causes of pay inequity, women continue to outpace men in earning college degrees and bosses allow more flexible hours.

Alas, many of us demand changes now and lament the reasons why inequities persist in this post-”Mad Men” world.

Here’s a few reasons, culled from various news reports:

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Comments | Topics: city of seattle, discrimination, gap

June 25, 2013 at 8:06 AM

Supreme Court voids part of Voting Rights Act for not reflecting racial progress

Supreme Court watchers and those listening to debates on race probably knew this day was coming. The U.S. Supreme Court about 20 minutes ago voided a key part of the Voting Rights Act. Deep breath. The court did not question the validity or need for federal vigilance to keep polling places open to minorities, mainly…

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Comments | Topics: 1965 Voting Rights Act, affirmative action, discrimination

April 29, 2013 at 6:15 AM

Liberal Washington state cannot come to terms with gay marriage

Arlene's Flowers, which faces legal action after denying service to a gay couple, is in Sen. Brown's district. (AP Photo/Tri-City Herald, Bob Brawdy)

Arlene’s Flowers, which faces legal action after denying service to a gay couple, is in Sen. Brown’s legislative district.
(AP Photo/Tri-City Herald, Bob Brawdy)

The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to rule on gay marriage in June, but some Washington lawmakers are unable to get past gay people existing, never mind getting married.  State Sen. Sharon Brown, R-Kennewick introduced  a proposed law that would allow businesses to deny service to gay and lesbian customers. This Associated Press story gives more details. One step forward, two steps back.

One of Brown’s constituents is the Richland florist facing state legal action for refusing wedding-related services to a gay couple. This is constituent service at its most extreme and its most repugnant.

Senate Bill 5927 isn’t likely to pick up steam in the Washington Legislature’s special session that starts May 13. But if it did it would seek to supersede protections against discrimination based on sexual orientation codified in state law in 2006.

Still just knowing the bill was introduced last Friday and not immediately booed into oblivion by senators rankles.

Not that there wasn’t swift outrage.

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Comments | Topics: discrimination, republicans, same-sex marriage

March 8, 2013 at 6:30 AM

In a word: How does Seattle Public Schools treat minority schoolchildren?

A federal investigation into why the Seattle Public Schools discplines African American students more often, and more harshly should spur more, rather than less, debate about race. Compelling charts here should inspire cogent response, not finger-pointing or racist accusations. And why are district officials suffering heart burn over the  “Citizenship and Social Justice” class at the Center School? After a…

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Comments | More in Interactives | Topics: children, discrimination, Education