Bedford Hopeful, Despite Senate Rejection Of Equal Pay Bill

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Jeanette Gerfin of Somers gave her opinion as she shopped in Katonah.
Jeanette Gerfin of Somers gave her opinion as she shopped in Katonah. Photo Credit: Brian Donnelly

NORTHERN WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. – Even though the Democratic-controlled U.S. Senate rejected on Wednesday a bill to bridge the gap between the average salary for men and women, many in Northern Westchester are hopeful women will soon achieve equal pay.

Jeanette Gerfin of Somers was one of several to say Wednesday that they have never experienced pay discrimination, but have heard of it happening for years.

Tuesday, April 8, was Equal Pay Day, the day when the average woman’s salary catches up to the average man’s salary from the previous year, and President Barack Obama announced two executive orders to start bridging the pay gap. One prohibits federal contractors from retaliating against workers for talking about their salary.

“It was always considered good manners to not talk about your pay,” Nancy Hitchcock of Cross River said. “But, as a matter of professional advancement you do need to be aware of it.”

Hitchcock, who works in Katonah, said she likes the spirit of Obama’s executive orders, the second of which requires the Labor Department to collect summary data about salaries for federal contractors’ employees based on gender and race.

Woman still get paid 77 cents for every dollar a man gets paid, which Sal Ingrassia of Katonah said is ridiculous.

“Certainly I’ll try to put public pressure on my representatives because certainly somebody has to take the lead in trying to make society more fair economically and socially,” he said.

Hitchcock said she thinks women tend not to be as aggressive as men in asking for more money.

“They’re more discrete about comparing pay so it just sort of happens, sometimes without people even being aware of it. I do know that it definitely is a fact,” she said. 

Susan Kirshner is part of a group going to Albany in a few weeks to advocate for state legislation to bridge the pay gap. The National Council of Jewish Women is a grassroots advocacy organization.

“Wage inequality is not only a continuing injustice, but a threat to families that worsens with time and eventually extends to pensions, unemployment benefits and even social security — all based on income,” Nancy Kaufman, chief executive officer of the National Council of Jewish Women, said in a statement on its website.

Diana DeCubellis, who runs a Katonah-based media production business, said pay equality is something that should have happened much sooner.

“For me it’s a no-brainer. But I think it’ll be a bloody battle the way everything else has probably have been a bloody battle,” she said, referring to the contentious relationship between Obama and Congress.

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P.S. The 7-14% less earnings for women with children vs childless women: Since no other data is included, on its face its absolutely fair. A women is out on disability (maternity) and therefore misses time from work. Sometimes a lot of time. If you are not there, regardless of reason - you are not there. You're not at work. Less time in has consequences, including decreased results that drive performance metrics and promotion and raises/income. Showing up or not relates to pay - which it should. That is basically an inarguable point.

Re: "Woman still gets paid 77 cents for every dollar a man gets paid, which Sal Ingrassia of Katonah said is ridiculous."

Her anger is falsely created.

Here's what Obama and the Democrats don't want anyone to know about women, men, and the wage gap:

In general, women not only live longer and enjoy better health than men, who die sooner and at a higher rate of the 12 leading causes of death, they also control most of consumer spending and most of the nation's wealth. Soon they will control even more.

"Over the next decade, women will control two thirds of consumer wealth in the United States and be the beneficiaries of the largest transference of wealth in our country’s history. Estimates range from $12 to $40 trillion. Many Boomer women will experience a double inheritance windfall, from both parents and husband." -http://www.she-conomy.com/facts-on-women

Sound like an oppressed group in need of yet another equal pay law?

I suspect that many if not most of women's advocates think employers are greedy profiteers who'd hire only illegal immigrants for their lower labor cost if they could get away with it. Or who'd move their business to a cheap-labor country to save money. Or replace older workers with younger ones for the same reason. So why do these same advocates think employers would NOT hire only women if, as they say, employers DO get away with paying females at a lower rate than males for the same work?

Here's one of countless examples showing that some of the most sophisticated women in the country choose to earn less while getting paid at the same rate as their male counterparts:

“In 2011, 22% of male physicians and 44% of female physicians worked less than full time, up from 7% of men and 29% of women from Cejka’s 2005 survey.” ama-assn.org/amednews/2012/03/26/bil10326.htm

A thousand laws won't close that gap.

In fact, no law yet has closed the gender wage gap — not the 1963 Equal Pay for Equal Work Act, not Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, not the 1978 Pregnancy Discrimination Act, not affirmative action (which has benefited mostly white women, the group most vocal about the wage gap - tinyurl.com/74cooen), not the 1991 amendments to Title VII, not the 1991 Glass Ceiling Commission created by the Civil Rights Act, not the 1993 Family and Medical Leave Act, not diversity, not the countless state and local laws and regulations, not the thousands of company mentors for women, not the horde of overseers at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and not the Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which is another feel-good bill that turned into another do-nothing law (political intentions disguised as good intentions do not necessarily make things better; sometimes they make things worse).... Nor will a "paycheck fairness" law work.

That's because women's pay-equity advocates, who always insist one more law is needed, continue to overlook the effects of female AND male behavior:

Despite the 40-year-old demand for women's equal pay, millions of wives still choose to have no pay at all. In fact, according to Dr. Scott Haltzman, author of "The Secrets of Happily Married Women," stay-at-home wives, including the childless who represent an estimated 10 percent, constitute a growing niche. "In the past few years,” he says in a CNN report at tinyurl.com/6reowj, “many women who are well educated and trained for career tracks have decided instead to stay at home.” (“Census Bureau data show that 5.6 million mothers stayed home with their children in 2005, about 1.2 million more than did so a decade earlier....” at tinyurl.com/qqkaka. If indeed a higher percentage of women is staying at home, perhaps it's because feminists and the media have told women for years that female workers are paid less than men in the same jobs — so why bother working outside the home if they're going to be penalized and humiliated for being a woman, as illustrated by such titles as this: "Gender wage gap sees women spend 7 weeks working for nothing" http://www.irishexaminer.com/ireland/cwgbaueysnsn/rss2/.)

As full-time mothers or homemakers, stay-at-home wives earn zero. How can they afford to do this while in many cases living in luxury? Answer: Because they're supported by their husband, an “employer” who pays them to stay at home. (Far more wives are supported by a spouse than are husbands.)

The implication of this is probably obvious to most 12-year-olds but seems incomprehensible to, or is wrongly dismissed as irrelevant by, feminists and the liberal media: If millions of wives are able to accept NO wages, millions of other wives, whose husbands' incomes vary, are more often able than husbands to:

-accept low wages
-refuse overtime and promotions
-choose jobs based on interest first, wages second — the reverse of what men tend to do (The most popular job for American women as of 2010 is still secretary/administrative assistant, which has been a top ten job for women for the last 50 years. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/11/gender-wage-gap_n_3424084.html)
-take more unpaid days off
-avoid uncomfortable wage-bargaining (tinyurl.com/3a5nlay)
-work fewer hours than their male counterparts, or work less than full-time more often than their male counterparts (as in the above example regarding physicians)

Any one of these job choices lowers women's median pay relative to men's. And when a wife makes one of the choices, her husband often must take up the slack, thereby increasing HIS pay.

Women who make these choices are generally able to do so because they are supported — or, if unmarried, anticipate being supported — by a husband who feels pressured to earn more than if he'd chosen never to marry. (Married men earn more than single men, but even many men who shun marriage, unlike their female counterparts, feel their self worth is tied to their net worth.) This is how MEN help create the wage gap: as a group they tend more than women to pass up jobs that interest them for ones that pay well.

"The more alarming wage gap might be the one between mothers and childless women: One recent paper (http://www.npr.org/2012/02/07/146522483/the-wage-gap-between-moms-other-working-women) found that women with kids make roughly 7 to 14 percent less than women without them." So why do organized feminists and the liberal media focus only on -- and criticize -- the wage gap between men and women? http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2014/02/the-mommy-track-myth/283557/

More in "Does the Ledbetter Act Help Women?" at http://malemattersusa.wordpress.com/2011/12/03/will-the-ledbetter-fair-pay-act-help-women/

See also:

"Feminists don’t want you to know how women help create the wage gap: Women 'want rich husbands, not careers'" http://malemattersusa.wordpress.com/2012/03/29/what-feminists-dont-want-you-to-know-women-want-rich-husbands-not-careers/

Excerpt:

“By the late 1990s, the proportion of women who were 'marrying up' had almost doubled to 38 percent. Similar patterns are seen across much of Europe, the US and Australia. Hakim said many women did not want to admit that they were looking for a higher earning partner. They even keep the fact secret from the men they are dating, Catherine Hakim said.”

You raise almost too many points to cover, but one I'll speak of from decades of personal, including executive level, corporate experience on: The gap is there and it isn't for any other reason than gender, way too often, when all the skill sets are a least equal. You'll also have oftentimes much, much more demonstrated experience in the female, and the young guy comes in at pay it took you 20 years to achieve across job changes and promotions. It stinks. But the pay gap between women with children and childless women in white collar positions is well deserved and fair. Being the latter, I was the "last man standing" most days and definitely when reports, quarterly numbers and big pushes for results were due and upon us. Why? Because virtually 100% these gals bailed at 5:00. The usual kid crap. Elective activities that got them out of staying late and "making it happen". But they'd be sore as hell at promotion and raise time. They determined that the relationships you made as a result must be favoritism, fooling around or other girly yakkity-yak. The self-seeking and inconsiderate (who always split to go to some chronic kid "event") produced more absence of true accountability in the workplace. That's what is so patently unfair - all the guys and gals who are stuck doing the heavy lifting day after day after week after month after years - while the "Moms" split, virtually universally. Want to be treated (i.e.paid) like a guy? Then act like one and leave your PMS and ovaries at the door. Real business is thankfully genderless. But most gals buy into the Oprah and Dr. Oz drek and drag their "work-life balance" into everyone else's business back yard. I've said it for 30+ years and till it changes- Men NEVER do the following: When women stop deciding whether to get married or get a job, only THEN will true equality prevail. You can do both and the best success is no ones knows your "personal" status. Nor should they. Its the workplace, remember?