As of Oct. 26, I started working for free for the rest of the year, and if you are a working woman, so did you. This is one of the harsh facts about the gender wage gap. A woman working full-time earns about 80 percent of the salary of a man working full-time.
To put it another way, women work 10 weeks a year for free. Over a 40-year career, that's eight years of work we aren't getting paid for. Obviously, this is a huge problem for women as individuals, for the families we support, either on our own or as co-contributors, and for our economy and society.
What isn't so obvious is what is being done to solve the problem. Illinois legislators took a step in the right direction when they passed HB2462, the "No Salary History" bill. The bill eliminates the requirement for a candidate to disclose prior salary history to a potential employer, thus freeing women from having their next jobs salary based on discriminatory pay from past jobs. While the bill addresses only one of the many gender wage gap problems, I am grateful to my state Rep. Michelle Mussman and state Sen. Laura Murphy for supporting it. However, I was disappointed when Gov. Rauner vetoed it.
The governor has claimed he supports working class people. Well, 50 percent of those people are women and vetoing a bill that helps us shows me where he really stands on supporting working class people. Fortunately, the House has voted to override Gov. Rauner's veto, and I hope the Senate will too.