Today I stood with local Girl Scouts and women's advocates from across New Jersey as we called for paycheck equity for women.
The numbers are clear, women are paid 79 cents for every dollar that men earn for the same work, and the discrimination needs to end. That's why I'm working to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act in Congress, because we must ensure that women are paid fairly for their work. Check out the news from today's event below.
Paycheck fairness is good for women, families, and our economy. I hope you will join me as I work alongside our moms and daughters in the fight for full equality.
CHERRY HILL - Sophia Djeng wants to be a CEO someday. The 11-year-old from Plainsboro also expects to make as much money as any of her male counterparts, and she stood on a stepstool behind a podium to say so.
"I will make sure all my employees are treated fairly, especially in payment," the poised Junior said at the headquarters of Girl Scouts of Central & Southern New Jersey on Wednesday.
"I think that people should be given the same opportunities and the same reward for the same hard work, no matter what," she added.
She wasn't alone in that sentiment. Joining her at the event were U.S. Rep. Donald Norcross, D-NJ, Assemblywoman Pamela Lampitt, New Jersey AFL-CIO Secretary Treasurer Laurel Brennan, American Association of University Women/NJ President Sally Goodson and others who are urging Congress to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act.
The legislation would require companies to document pay gaps between men and women and prohibit employers from retaliating when workers disclose or discuss salary or pay information. It also would allow workers to join class-action suits for gender-based pay differences.
"We don't typically get involved in something with these kinds of political nuances," said GSCNJ CEO Ginny Marino afterward. "But this affects the future of our girls, and we we felt it was important for us to speak out on this matter."
Citing projections by the Institute for Women's Policy Research, she pointed out that current trends indicate the wage gap will remain until 2058.
"We'll lose an entire generation of women," she said. "Sophia and girls her age will be retired by then."
Citing U.S. Department of Labor statistics, Norcross pointed out that women earn $0.79 for every dollar earned by men; for women of color, that gap widens to $0.60 for African American woman) and $0.55 for Latina women. Women have to work an average of 100 days more than men each year to match their male counterparts' annual salary, the Labor Department found.
"The success of our girls is predicated upon the notion that women and girls have an equal shot to be financially sound and successful," Marino said.
"The Girl Scouts here today follow Girl Scout law, which pledges honesty, fairness, courage, responsibility and respect," said Norcross, a former union leader.
"It's predicated on the notion that the playing field is level, and that they receive equal pay for equal work. And yet we are here today because the persistent wage gap tells us that this is not the case."