Opinion piece: Gender-based discrimination egregious, not benign

| Apr 19, 2021 | Employee Discrimination

Toni Van Pelt makes a number of instructive – indeed, compelling – points in a recent article she wrote concerning American women and their on-the-job pay.

That shouldn’t be surprising. Van Pelt’s studied reflections come courtesy of her long tenure as a working woman and prominent advocate for gender-based workplace equity. She is currently president of the National Organization for Women.

That platform gives instant credence to her words and observations.

Those come with no strings attached and a compelling directness. Van Pelt underscores the growing impatience of American female workers concerning seemingly endless discussions surrounding the so-called “wage gap” and continued pay advantages for males.

The term “gap” is misapplied, she states. The persistent research findings underscoring a material variance in paycheck amounts for male and female workers spotlight instead broad-based theft targeting women doing work similarly done by male colleagues.

That theft “is not only stealing money from women,” she stresses. It is also “stealing their future.”

Vetted and hard-to-argue data concerning sex-tied wage disparity goes far toward explaining why Van Pelt and many millions of American women workers are so angered and concerned by a most problematic labor reality.

That is this: According to U.S. Census Bureau data, women on average receive only about 82% of the pay collected by men doing similar work.

Van Pelt notes comments made by former Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg shortly before that legal icon passed away last year. Ginsburg noted that gender-based workplace classifications unquestionably harming women were for decades widely perceived as “operating benignly in women’s favor.”

That mindset is now seen for what it has always embodied, namely, an anachronistic and harmful perspective that has unfairly held back half of the nation’s workforce.

Women don’t seek protection, says Van Pelt. They want – finally and with no further delimiting justifications – fair play and equal rights in federal and private workplaces across the country.

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