New Survey Shows that Americans Want Equal Pay
Last week the findings of a new survey were released showing that the majority of Americans supported equality for women in the workplace. The survey was commissioned by American Women, the National Partnership for Women and Families, and the Rockefeller Family Fund. Although not all the findings were specific to women, broad majorities of likely 2014 voters favored policies that increased minimum wage, guaranteed workers a more flexible work environment with paid sick time, paid family or medical leave, made it harder for women to be paid less than men, and that generally helped families get ahead.
The other interesting part of this survey was that both women and men said that they would support political candidates that stood behind policies that benefited working families directly. Sixty percent (60%) of voters were more likely to vote for a candidate that supported these family-friendly and gender equality policies in the workplace. And 49% believed that the wage gap impacted the U.S. economy negatively and that this discrimination should end in the workplace.
The findings of the survey clearly showed that Americans were willing to place their vote for gender equality, which outlined even more clearly the disparity between working women and what their families needed and the lack of laws to support that. Both women and men voted that the wage gap and the lack of workplace flexibility hurt everyone, but was Congress listening?
Two senators in particular made it a point to talk about the results of the survey. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), co-sponsors of the Family and Medical Insurance Leave Act said that the survey results illustrated the discord between working women and Congress.
“Paid leave is an earned benefit that should be available to every worker in America — no matter how big a company you work for, whether you’re part-time, or self-employed — and it costs less than the price of a cup of coffee a week,” Gillibrand said in a statement. “When any one of us — man or woman — needs time to care for a dying parent — we should not have to sacrifice our job and risk our future to do the right thing for our family.”
In a separate statement DeLauro said, “We all know that when women succeed, America succeeds and this poll shows that Americans want Congress to enact laws that will help them and their families.”
The stress of a shaky economy only compounded the stresses that working families faced and women in particular. This survey showed that in today’s working cultures both men and women desired equality in pay and in benefits. It seems logical that lawmakers would respond in kind to make things better for workers everywhere. However, it will take the votes of both men and women to make them listen. If there’s one thing this survey showed us it was that together we can make these changes that better us all.
“Voters Support Economic Justice Policies” American Women. 12 Feb. 2014. Web. 2 March 2014.
Siddiqui, Sabrina. “Most Americans Support Raising Minimum Wage, Equal Pay for Women” Huffington Post. 12 Feb. 2014. Web. 3 March 2014