Women are nearly 50 percent of the workforce in the U.S., but our work places are far from equal. Studies like those from the American Association of University Women (AAUW) show that a gender pay gap exists even with an apples-to-apples comparison. After controlling for factors known to affect earnings, such as education, parenthood, and hours worked, the AAUW study found that women earn 7% less than men earn just one year out of college, even when they have the same major and occupation. To those who don’t think 7 percent sounds like much, think about how it is compounded over the course of a woman’s career—and how much it affects her benefits and retirement savings. There should not be limits to gender equality, and this means there should not be limits to pay or position. We must ensure that we close the gender pay gap because if allow a person’s gender to be a factor in the work place, consciously or subconsciously, then we allow for other bias to enter into our workforce, which is the very backbone of our economy.
— Charlynn Duecy, Seattle, WA