Tuesday, May 27, 2014

How to get real about closing the gender pay gap

In recent years, earnings for the median woman worker have stagnated (economists are calling the last ten years the "lost decade" for women's wages) and progress in closing the gender pay gap has screeched to a halt. What is to be done? In my latest Baffler post, I discuss three policies that have been shown to significantly improve women's pay and narrow the gap. One is unions, which boost wages for women workers at every educational level, from female high school drop-outs to women with graduate degrees. The other two are pay equity (a policy which involves paying women the same for doing work that is comparable to men's) and workplace flexibility (giving workers more freedom to schedule their hours and in some cases, to work from home).

Democrats are running on narrowing the gender gap this year, and while it's heartening to see them finally pay attention to this issue, the policies they are offering fall far short of what is needed. Let's push them to do better.

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