August 20, 2020 Feature

Silence Is Not Always Golden

by Kelli Y. Stonework
Finding your voice, making the “bigger ask,” and becoming unsilenced may not be easy, but they are achievable goals for women in the legal profession.

Finding your voice, making the “bigger ask,” and becoming unsilenced may not be easy, but they are achievable goals for women in the legal profession.

Andy445 / iStock / Getty Images Plus

We have spent decades noting the problem of gender inequity, yet as we celebrate the centennial of women gaining the right to vote, gender equality has yet to be achieved. According to the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2020 (https://tinyurl.com/wdqtmn5), the global economic gender gap, on average, has closed 0.15 percentage points from 2006 to 2019. In addition, the report says men and women will have global pay equality in 257 years, 55 more years than the estimate in the previous edition. Earlier this year it was reported that women earn more college and graduate degrees than men and make up more than half the American workforce. Overall, however, women in the United States are paid 81 cents for every dollar paid to men (PayScale, “The State of the Gender Pay Gap 2020”; https://tinyurl.com/yd6zpznk). The number is lower for women of color specifically. Black women are typically paid 62 cents, Native American women 57 cents, and Latinas just 54 cents for every dollar paid to white, non-Hispanic men (U.S. Census Bureau; https://tinyurl.com/y8eazwfv). The wage gap for mothers is larger than for women overall. Mothers with full-time, year-round jobs are paid 69 cents for every dollar paid to fathers (National Women’s Law Center, “Equal Pay for Mothers Is Critical for Families”; https://tinyurl.com/Yd78gf5w).

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