Editorial: Expectations being met more than not

Dec. 25, 2013 @ 04:24 PM

Women are making equality gains in the workplace, family care remains vital to workers and discrimination still isn’t dead.

Those are our assessments following release of a Pew Research Center survey on the gender pay gap and attitudes toward workplace equality. The folks at Pew, and analysts, didn’t quite lay it out that way.

We do agree the survey results were mixed.

Earnings rates for women compared to men were 93 percent. Considering in 1980 it was 67 percent, there have been tremendous gains.

But keeping dynamics in perspective is central to understanding how the landscape is changing, improving or regressing. We believe it is mostly changing, and for the good.

Bear in mind, many workers’ rise to higher positions and pay began before that 1980 mark. Because they are unlikely to suddenly drop out of the workforce, the leveling of equality will also not happen overnight.

Seeing steady change is the most correct expectation.

Not all women are aspiring to be a boss or top manager. But three out of four ages 18 to 32 believe the country needs to do more to bring about equality in the workplace. And 59 percent of women believe a working parent has a more difficult challenge to advance in a job or career.

Only 15 percent of women felt they experienced discrimination.

One sociology professor said equality would come when more men CEOs are taking the day off to care for children. Yet, 94 percent of adults of all ages surveyed have at one time or another reduced work hours to care for family members.

We believe in a market that pays competitively. Abilities, not gender, should be rewarded.

We also recognize the value of family. And society still favors experiences that are closely linked to the cliché “motherly love.” We don’t find that to be a negative.

Rather, we believe there are inherit choices both men and women meet if on the job ladder. Choosing to raise a family and which spouse might handle more of the at-home duties is a choice. With it come many variables, and that can possibly include an impact on the job ladder.

In sum total, we find the survey to show many positive results.