Utah GOP Vice-Chair James C. Green wrote a letter, "Equal Pay for Women Has Consequences." Here is our response.
Ladies Get Paid was never intended to be an activist organization. After November 9th however, things changed. While our primary focus is on career education and personal development, closing the wage gap and getting more women to become leaders, will not happen without public policy. We believe it is our duty to speak up when we see workplace discrimination. With over 3,000 members from 47 states and 43 countries, Ladies Get Paid has the unique ability to influence lawmakers to protect our rights. We believe we can affect change if we get angry, organized, and focused.
Utah GOP Vice-Chair James C. Green's letter, "Equal Pay for Women Has Consequences", submitted to the Wasatch Wave, certainly got our blood boiling. As one of our Salt Lake City members put it, "That letter is gross and definitely made me pull a Picard-level face palm."
We are proud to stand with our Utah sisters and together, we wrote a response that we would like to share with you.
We are writing in response to the Letter to the Editor published on February 15th, 2017 entitled “Equal Pay For Women Has Consequences,” written by James C. Green, former Wasatch Co. GOP Vice-Chair.
We agree that equal pay for women has consequences. The consequence is a stronger, more equitable economy in Utah.
Upon entering Utah, one is greeted with signs that read, “Life Elevated,” yet in this state, women overall earn only 67¢ cents for every dollar paid to men, giving us the second biggest wage gap in the nation.
Mr. Green argued against equal pay laws because women choose to stay home so men must provide for them. He also defended the wage gap as the economically prudent thing to do.
There is also strong social pressure for mothers to stay home in Utah. We believe it is a personal choice and has nothing to do with the value a woman provides for a company as an employee and should therefore not be factor in wages. While some women may willingly decide to stay home, many do not have a choice due to an absence of parental leave and affordable child care. For those who stay in the workforce, must we punish them financially because of Mr. Green’s fear of competition?
Mr. Green has also not considered that some Utah women may be the breadwinners of their families, or that some women are single or without children. Compared to 50 years ago, women today are more likely to be the primary or sole breadwinners for their households. A lifetime of lower earnings leads to significantly lower social security and retirement benefits, leading to repercussions not only for the individual woman, but for her family as well.
The financial implications for our society as a whole are significant. If we had gender parity in income, we would add almost $450 billion to the national GDP every year. The poverty rate for working women would be cut in half, improving quality of life for millions, and decreasing the economic burden on government and social services.
The state of Utah and our elected officials should be committed to equal pay for equal work. Paying people equally regardless of race, gender or creed, isn’t just the right thing to do, it’s the economically sound thing to do. In short, putting more money in the hands of women, who make up half of Utah’s population, will create a stronger economy in our great state. Now that’s just simple economics.
We support Senate Bill 210, and we hope Utah will take this important step towards elevating life for everyone.
Ladies Get Paid helps women rise up. We provide women the tools they need to advocate their worth in the workplace and through civic engagement. Membership is free and we welcome women of all industries, locations, and stages of their career. Join today.