Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Equal Day Pay

April 9 is this year's Equal Pay Day-- "the day women's earnings catch up to the amount men earned in the previous year," reports Women's eNews.  

It took 3 months and 9 days more for women to earn what men earned in the twelve months of 2012.

"Right now, women still make only 77 cents for every dollar earned by men, and the gap is even wider for African American women and Latinas," the article continues.

It happens to be also the day my mother died five years ago.

She worked as a nurse and nursing instructor from 1938 through 1978--forty years, except for a few years around the birth of her second child.

During the 1950's she worked outside the home, with four young children, and faced social disapproval for being a "working mother."  Her work was always critical for our family's financial survival.

May this catch-up day move back into March next year.  

May it reach Jan. 1 in my daughters' lifetimes-- an unlikely event.

The highest salary I ever earned was about $45,000 while I was an assistant professor at Mount St.Mary's College--much less than my husband earned at the Los Angeles Times.

It's important that all assistant professors, male and female, at a particular college, get equal pay for similar experience and qualifications, and that all newspaper editors, male and female, get equal pay.  

But male professors don't have the pressures of child-bearing and child-rearing gnawing at their paychecks... nor do male newspaper editors.

And women are still less likely to be promoted to the top jobs in either teaching or journalism.

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