Monday, June 4, 2012

The Glass Ceiling

I think about the glass ceiling a lot.  Sarah & I both do.  We talk about it amongst ourselves quite a bit and were surprised that we have had nothing to say about it yet on Awfully Grand.  Well it's about damn time, don't you think?  

Sigh.  Where do I even start?

Confession.  I'm sexist.  Total sexist.  I believe that women are superior in every way, shape, and form.  And I say this spending a lifetime being surrounded by some pretty incredible, sensitive, and extraordinary men.  Simply put, women are powerful.  Still, life dictates that things are different for us than for men.  Very much so.  If you disagree, or think that the inequity gap is closing, all you have to do is crunch the numbers.  A recent data analysis by Payscale shows that as women age the growth in pay between men and women is, well frightening.  

Payscale Report. For full Methodology click here
And this gap is present and growing at a time when women earn 60% of all Master's degrees and outnumber male graduates at nearly all degree levels from high school to college. I guess that's where playing X-box in your mother's basement will get you boys.  No apologies for that one, by the way. Men are being left in the dust at an alarming rate when it comes to education and the projected gap in degrees earned continues to grow.  And no, I am not surprised.  What is surprising and makes me throw up in my mouth a little is that this discrepancy between the education of men and women is not being felt with the earth shattering impact it should when it comes to work and equal representation in jobs and pay.  Here are some facts that turn my stomach:

  • "Women hold 90, or 16.8%, of the 535 seats in the 112th US Congress — 17, or 17.0%, of the 100 seats in the Senate and 73, or 16.8%, of the 435 seats in the House of Representatives. In addition, three women serve as Delegates to the House from Guam, the Virgin Islands and Washington, DC." (CAWP)
  • Nancy Pelosi was the FIRST woman Speaker of the House. FYI, the very first Speaker of the House was Frederick Mulenberg in 1789.  Yeah, 1789.  
  • In 1996 when Equal Pay Day was created by the National Committee on Pay Equality (NCPE), women earned 73.8 cents on the dollar to men.  Now, 16 years later women earn 77.4 cents for every dollar men earn. That's progress!  
Now there is no shortage of other information I could flash before you about inequity both in the US and around the world that would set your soul on fire.  I know you know this, but I'm a scientist at heart and I like to separate fact from feeling.  Numbers are numbers no matter the feeling, so let's start there.  You've heard the phrase, "I don't get mad, I get even?"  Well, it appears that we are not getting even anytime soon.  I suggest we start getting real mad.  
This is a loaded topic.  Send us your thoughts, comments, & ideas.  

Have a trailblazing Monday!

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