Wednesday, May 25, 2022

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The nation is jolted by another mass shooting, this time at a Texas elementary school; a mixture of hope and stark realities on the 2nd anniversary of Floyd Murder; a new map shows more Americans live within oil & gas "Threat Radius."

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At least 19 children and two adults killed at Texas elementary school, President Biden delivers remarks on shooting from White House, lawmakers plead on gun control, NRA to hold conference in Houston this week, Stacey Abrams and Gov. Brian Kemp favored to win Georgia primary.

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From off-Broadway to West Virginia: the stories of the deadly Upper Big Branch mine explosion, baby formula is on its way back to grocery shelves, and federal funds will combat consolidation in meatpacking.

Pay Equity Coalition: With Job Creation, Increase Access for Women

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Monday, December 20, 2021   

Many backers of the bipartisan infrastructure package hail the number of jobs it's supposed to create - an average of 1.5 million jobs annually for 10 years. Advocates for equal pay say as those jobs roll out, it's important to make sure women and people of color get access to them.

Wendy Chun-Hoon, director of the Women's Bureau at the U.S. Department of Labor, said women and especially women of color often are often in the lowest-paid jobs - although they're some of the most important, like child care and elder care.

"We have to address raising both wages in these underpaid jobs, undervalued jobs, because of long-held structural racism and sexism in our country," said Chun-Hoon. "And we have to increase the number of women who are in some of these higher-paying jobs."

Fewer than 4% of specialized jobs in construction and extraction fields are filled by women. Chun-Hoon noted the Women's Bureau has a grants program, called "Women in Apprenticeship and Non-Traditional Occupations," to expand women's pathways to these careers.

Sasha Goodfriend - executive director of the Massachusetts Chapter of the National Organization for Women - noted the Commonwealth's equal-pay law means employers cannot request information about a person's past salary before making an offer, and they cannot retaliate against workers for discussing their pay.

She urged workers to have those conversations.

"Before this law, you could be fired for sharing what your salary was," said Goodfriend. "And so, I know it's uncomfortable, because we've been taught that it's not something we're supposed to talk about."

Celia J. Blue, president and CEO of the Massachusetts Women of Color Coalition, said it's also important to be educated about your industry.

"There's so many tools out there today, that you could easily find out what is your industry, what's the average pay, what's the range?" said Blue. "Arm yourself with [that], going into any job, or even if you're already in the job."




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