American women got all excited last week because, once again, D.C. politicians threw a party on the taxpayer’s dime to discuss how so many women are treated unfairly by businesses. After reading a few articles and the White House statement, five main issues emerged:
- Pregnancy discrimination
- Paid maternity leave
- Workplace flexibility
- Child care
- Minimum wage
- Equal pay
I’m not sure why the White House threw a party after reading some of the information, except it’s close to the mid-term elections season, and women voters are needed for candidates to keep their jobs.
Why now? Women are easy to fool on social issues to gain votes.
Unfortunately nothing has changed in generations regarding politicians being involved with their ideas:
“In order to help stimulate a national discussion of the state of American families, I will convene a White House Conference on Families in Washington, D.C.“ President Jimmy Carter, December 9-13. 1979
“[D]espite strong labor markets with record low unemployment rates, there are millions of Americans who work but remain poor” ….The working poor need higher wages and jobs that offer full-year employment, wage supplements such as the Earned Income Tax Credit and access to services such as health care and child care.” Marlene Kim, 1999.
“A Bush proposal in support of parental leave is expected any day. At the White House, officials ‘figure it’s just hard to veto this one,’…. They don’t have a really good argument against’ parental leave, and don’t want to lose votes among young adults.” Mr. Besharov.
The conversation about American families and workplace issues has taken place for many generations. At the end of every day, generations of American families continue to deal with the situation while American politicians with no accountability continue to talk about the issue to gain votes from women.
The most interesting comment I read was:
“Too many women still face discrimination in the workplace,” said Betsey Stevenson, a member of the Council of Economic Advisers. “Too many women are forced to take unpaid leave or fired for doing something as simple as asking to sit while working or needing additional bathroom breaks.”
I hope Ms. Stevenson called the EEOC for the women she is speaking about so the organization(s) can be fined and a few upper management can possibly be fired! Going to a White House party giving politicians an audience to feed their egos is not going to change anything.
What I think is there are so many dysfunctional politicians trying to continue their careers as politicians, lobbyist, and continue to have some type of long-term careers in an area of government control for whom it’s all about their bank accounts. On the other side, businesses make the final decisions today on pay for maternity leave, workplace flexibility, and company-sponsored child care. Minimum wage and equal pay are covered under federal and sates laws.
Minimum wage is always an on-going debate to create noise, but reality is many businesses already pay above minimum wage. A living wage should be a focus with working Americans, and that comes with skills and knowledge that organizations will pay for, along with unbelievable benefits—just ask Google employees.
There are a lot of answers to solve equal pay, childcare, the violation of FMLA, violation of The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978, violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1968, and paid maternity leave. It starts with women gaining the knowledge they need to be a success, not a hand-out or another law or Act from the government that will never work. It’s time for solutions that create results.
Other factors to consider in today’s economy is that a lot of workforce social issues will be affected by the fact that millions of Americans are underemployed, unemployed, and many have just dropped out of the workforce, while businesses are sitting on trillions of dollars in off shores accounts to avoid taxes.
A strong economy with demand for employees and reform of tax laws is the start to creating change for all Americans. No solutions come from the White House having useless conversations without the ‘root cause’ of work place issues being addressed. This meeting does however continue the Democrats ‘War on Women’ crisis for political votes.
Check out the current working family statement from the White House: FACT SHEET: The White House Summit on Working Families