What women can do to continue closing the gender wage gap
BUFFALO, NY – On average, women who work full year, full time, are paid 82 cents for every dollar paid to men. This is according to the National Women’s Law Center.
“If the roles and responsibilities are substantially similar, they should be paid the same,” noted Elizabeth Cordello, a lawyer with the law firms of Pullano and Farrow.
The gender pay gap affects even women who own their own businesses.
âTypically, the average age of starting a business for a woman is 45 to 54. Having been in the workforce for two decades and being the victim of this discrimination for a few decades, this brings in their values ââthat they set aside for their business, âsaid Sara Vescio, Executive Director of the Women’s Business Center at Canisius College.
Vescio added that the Women’s Business Center helps create opportunities and make connections for women entrepreneurs, but also focuses on challenges.
âCapital has always and every year been a problem for women entrepreneurs,â she said. âAs a female owner, they receive less funds than their male counterparts and when they do receive funds, they receive less.â
According to Forbes, the coronavirus pandemic has excluded more than 2 million women from the workforce. The work-life balance with schools closing during the pandemic has also added stress.
“They have to do these meetings with kids in the background and they are told that they are not very professional or judged in a way that men are not,” Cordello added.
Women can earn 15% less, but this varies by geographic area, race, and industry.
âWomen need to be aware, at least in New York City, that it is now illegal for employers to find out about their salary history,â Cordello said.
According to the lawyer, in New York state there are specific laws to help close the gender wage gap, but not all women may be aware of them.
“There have been many laws passed on this that would protect someone’s ability to discuss wages with co-workers or to ask for wages,” Cordello added.
The journey to close the gap is not over, but neither is their fight.