This Week in Women: The Equal Pay Day Edition
Spring has officially sprung, and we’re greeting the new season with a slew of both good (and pillow-fight-worthy bad) news, on local to international levels. Tuesday, April 4 was a powerful day of important developments and calls-to-action in workplace equality and equal pay, and later on in the week, we also saw the return of the OG nasty woman, Hillary Clinton.
In other news, we’re tipping our hat to the luminous Ifeoma White-Thorpe, who was recently accepted to all eight Ivy League schools and Stanford. “In order to advance my rights, I will continue to dismiss the stereotypes of the black female and assist in creating a new mold in which we are viewed as atypical of what we once were,” wrote the Morris Hills High School senior in her award-winning essay for the National Liberty Museum’s Selma Speech and Essay Contest. “I will be outstanding. I will be ravishing in the way that I sew my words together to create a beautiful, unmitigated harmony.”
Ifeoma, we salute you. It’s time for This Week in Women!
Workplace Outrage on Equal Pay Day
It’s once again time to reflect on the wage gap difference between men and women. Created by the National Committee on Pay Equity (NCPE) in 1996 to shine a light on the disparity between men’s and women’s paychecks, Equal Pay Day is always on a Tuesday to “represent how far into the next work week women must work to earn what men earned the previous week.”
And in a role that we are getting used to seeing President Trump play, he reversed President Obama’s 2014 Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces order just one week prior. Trump’s reversal will cut regulations around 14 labor and civil rights laws for companies that receive federal contracts.
“We have an executive order that essentially forces women to pay to keep companies in business that discriminate against them, with their own tax dollars,” said Noreen Farrell, director of the anti-sex discrimination law firm Equal Rights Advocates. “It’s an outrage.”
New Protections For LGBTQ Employees in Court Ruling
Another outstanding milestone was achieved on April 4 for LGBTQ employees in a ruling from the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago. The 8-to-3 decision is an interpretation of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, and addressed the case of Kimberley Hively, who alleged that the Ivy Tech Community College refused to hire her because she is a lesbian.
“I don’t see why firing a lesbian because she is in the subset of women who are lesbian should be thought any less a form of sex discrimination than firing a woman because she’s a woman,” wrote Judge Richard Posner.
This decision is likely going to be sent on for another battle at the Supreme Court level. In the mean time, we applaud the judges for changing the interpretation of the 1964 Civil Rights Act to include the LGBTQ community.
Leaders Gather For The Women in the World Summit
The 8th Annual Women in the World New York Summit took place at Lincoln Center in Manhattan this week, taking special care to focus on equal pay and opportunities. Moguls, politicians, activists, and entertainers from across industries met to discuss many of the sensitive women’s equality issues that are not frequently covered in mainstream media.
“Millennials are going to accelerate [change],” said AT&T chief brand officer Fiona Carter, highlighting the fact that only 5 percent of Fortune 500 positions are held by women. “They have a voice and they’re not afraid to speak up.”
The New York Times and Tina Brown co-hosted the event with a featured speaker list that included nasty women Hillary Clinton, Maria Bellow, Diane Von Furstenberg, Cecil Richards, and more.
“I don’t understand the commitment to hurt so many people that this administration, this White House seems to be pursuing. There are so many examples in just the first 100 days,” said Clinton, when asked about Trump’s first 100 days. “The ban on people coming into our country—and yes, it was aimed at originally seven, now six, countries but it really sent a chilling effect across the world. And not just to Muslims to all kinds of people, who are saying to themselves, ‘Wait, what happened, don’t you still have Lady Liberty in the New York Harbor?’”
Lead graphic by Jordan Levinson
Stay tuned to Milk for more of This Week in Women and check out our previous installments here.