Teamwork, from Sochi to ChicagoPosted February 20th, 2014 by Liz Shuler
Title IX deserves a gold: While we cheer for Team USA and the amazing girls and women in the Olympic Games, let’s also give a shout out to Title IX, the 1972 law that put sports within reach of girls in a whole new way by requiring gender equity in schools. And make some noise for American Sarah Hendrickson, who last week became the first woman ever to take an official ski jump at a Winter Games.
Not equal yet: Meanwhile, a new survey finds employers are less likely to pay women than men during family leave—and women who are paid receive less. Just 27% percent of women were paid their full wage when they took more than seven days off to care for themselves, a sick family member or a new baby, compared with 39% of men. And 30% of women who took leave were not paid at all, compared with 22% of men. More than two-thirds of women and more than half of men surveyed support a national paid family and medical insurance leave proposal (the FAMILY Act). How about some teamwork of our own to pass it? Sign the petition here.
Come together—for the kids: Guess what happened when a school on Chicago’s West Side closed down? Businesses, unions, government and the community came together to make something amazing. Watch here.
Lifting our voices: Earlier this month at the congressional progressive caucus luncheon— “When Women Succeed, America Succeeds”—I had the chance to discuss women who’ve joined together to lift our voices this year. Domestic workers coming together for clear standards; restaurant workers speaking up for paid sick days and a livable minimum wage; fast food workers calling for fair wages; and Walmart workers demanding a way out of poverty. If they have the courage to risk it all and speak out, so should we!
The 6.5 million women in U.S. unions also use our voice at work to improve benefits, lift working conditions and blaze trails on family-friendly policies that allow women to rise—retirement security, flexible schedules, paid family leave and paid sick leave. That’s the heart of the “union difference” that also results in $222 more a week for the typical union woman.
I invite you to read my speech here.
Unacceptable: How much is America’s jobs crisis hurting young workers? In a new report, Young Invincibles and the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce calculated that today’s 20- to 24-year-olds will lose about $22,000 each due to repressed wages, decreased employment and reduced productivity—while the college grads among them struggle with boatloads of college debt.
One mom as part of a movement: Finally, here’s a great story about how much impact one mom can have as part of a movement. Listen to this reflection on Black History Month by a man remembering the powerful lesson his mother taught him about race.
Teamwork. Individual action, collective power. That’s how we make a difference. I’d love to hear from you.