More than 85 years after gaining the right to vote, women still face staggering wage discrimination in the workplace, making 77 cents to every dollar a man makes for the same work. In 1996, as one of only two female engineers working for the Midwest's largest engineering firm, I discovered I was making 15 percent less than the guy next to me. He had a technical certificate from a community college, only did office retrofits, and never wore a suit. I guess the rationale was, he did have a family to feed while I had a husband.
Pay equity is more important than ever. Many of us live in two-working-parent homes or have daughters who do. At a time when our families are being squeezed and when every dollar matters, why do women not deserve the same rights as men in the workplace when we contribute to our households just the same?
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In April, our own Sen. Mark Kirk voted to block debate on the Paycheck Fairness Act and House Republicans won't even bring it up for a vote. When he was in Congress, Bob Dold voted seven times against women.
While we may not yet have equality at the workplace, we do have equality in the ballot box and should be exercising that right come November. I encourage everyone to either vote by mail, early vote or come out on Election Day. When women succeed, America succeeds!