Nine years ago Betty Dukes filed a lawsuit against Wal-Mart alleging gender stereotyping and discrimination. According to a Business Week article, experts hired by the Plaintiffs’ attorneys provided evidence that, across the US, women were paid less than men and in every job category. They also found that it took women longer to reach management positions than men. http://www.businessweek.com/news/2010-04-27/wal-mart-workers-can-sue-as-group-in-gender-bias-case-over-pay.html CNN also cites that the lawsuit alleges that “…women make up more than 70 percent of Wal-Mart‘s hourly work force but in the past decade made up less than one-third of its store management.” http://www.cnn.com/2010/CRIME/04/26/walmart.suit/index.html
The 9th Cir. Court of Appeals just certified the case as a class action lawsuit, allowing more than 1 million women to join.
Emily at http://ourdescent.wordpress.com/2007/02/07/largest-sex-discrimination-case-in-us-history/
has posted a great chart which obviously outlines the pay disparity at issue.
HipHopWired has a brief synopsis of the news: http://hiphopwired.com/2010/04/27/wal-mart-facing-billion-dollar-gender-bias-lawsuit/
Male-female income disparity, the gender earnings gap and the gender pay gap are all terms used to describe what women across the U.S. know every time they get their paycheck: men get paid more than women. For the same job.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics News Release dated April 15, 2010 cites
“Women who usually worked full time had median earnings of $665 per week, or 78.8 percent of the $844 median for men.”
Of course, not only is there a gender gap, but there is also a large difference in earnings based on race and ethnicity. The same News Release cites
“median earnings for black men working at fulltime jobs were $635 per week, 73.1 percent of the median for white men ($869). .. black women’s median earnings ($584) were 86.1 percent of those for white women ($678). …median earnings of Hispanics who worked full time ($554) were lower than those of blacks ($610), whites ($772), and Asians ($859).”
I’ve been reading news articles that women from the Civil Rights generation, from the 1960s, are worried that young women today think that we have reached gender equality and that upon graduation from high school, tech. school, and college, they will have the same opportunities as their male counterparts. The same opportunities? Maybe. The same rewards? Not yet.