Economic Equity News: October 12, 2015

Economic equity news is a weekly round-up of articles by Donna Seymour of AAUW-NYS that features our core values of poverty solutions, opportunity and access, workplace fairness, healthy lives, equal pay and representation at all tables. Sign up for our mailing list to receive this directly to your inbox.

How would you like to have your paycheck cut in half? Or feel double the strain when paying for groceries, gas, college tuition, doctor appointments, you name it? That’s the case for many Hispanic and Latina women in the United States. Thanks to the gender pay gap, Latinas are paid 54 percent of what non-Hispanic white men are paid. That means it takes Latinas almost an entire extra year of full-time, year-round work in order to be paid what the average white man took home byDecember 31. Think about how that adds up over a lifetime, and we’re talking about losing a substantial chunk of change — change that could have greatly aided Latinas and their families.

A new study from and McKinsey finds that women’s careers are still being held back simply because of their gender. Sexism and gender bias are still alive in our offices and boardrooms. According to a report released on Wednesday by McKinsey & Company and the Lean In Foundation, 43% of women believe that they have had fewer opportunities than men (while only 12% of men believe the same). The report also found that 25% of women believe that being female has inhibited their success—a number that jumps to 40% when you focus in women in senior management.

California Gov. Jerry Brown has signed a gender wage equality law that his office says is among the strongest in the nation. “Sixty-six years after passage of the California Equal Pay Act, many women still earn less money than men doing the same or similar work,” Brown said. “This bill is another step toward closing the persistent wage gap between men and women.” In 2013, women employed full time in California made 84 cents for every dollar a man earned. Disparities were greater for minority women.

NYC Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito assembled a coalition of female activists today to launch the Young Women’s Initiative – a group she said would combat racial and gender inequality and be the first of its kind in a nation with many similar initiatives aimed at young men of color.

The District would become the most generous place in the country for a worker to take time off after giving birth or to care for a dying parent under a measure supported by a majority of the D.C. Council. Under the legislation that will be introduced Tuesday, almost every part-time and full-time employee in the nation’s capital would be entitled to 16 weeks of paid family leave to bond with an infant or an adopted child, recover from an illness, recuperate from a military deployment or tend to an ill family member.

Women face a unique set of problems and issues when it comes to retirement. As a result, some planners now focus their business on women. Some, like Payne, have also made improving financial literacy among women a passion. According to a new survey by GfK, a consumer marketing research firm, women in the United States are much more uncertain or pessimistic about their retirement finances, with 60 percent saying they are unsure or not confident, compared with 41 percent of U.S. men.


Donna Seymour, who hales from the (far upstate) North Country of NYS, has spent 40 plus years advocating for children, women and family issues, equity, sustainability, and social justice issues. Currently serving as the Public Policy VP for AAUW-NYS (the American Association Universality Women), she also is a member the League of Women Voters, the Equal Pay Coalition, PTA, NOW, and Planned Parenthood, just to name a few.