Category Archives: Working Women

A Guide to Organizing Women’s Committees: Everything You Need to Know to Make a Difference

Source: Jane LaTour in consultation with Lois Gray and Maria Figueroa, Cornell University Workers Institute, January 2015

In the early history of unionization, unions and other organizations limited the participation of women or organized them into separate unions. Such restrictions are not the case today, but the fact remains that genuine, systemic equality for women at the workplace, in unions, and within the labor movement is still unrealized.

A Guide to Organizing Women’s Committees builds on the findings of the Women’s Committees in Worker Organizations report to provide step-by-step instruction for forming women’s committees in unions and worker-centered organizations. Union and worker center members can use this Guide to plan and implement women’s committees at their organizations.

The Guide was written by consultant, journalist, and author, Jane LaTour, in consultation with Cornell University Workers Institute faculty Lois Gray and Maria Figueroa. It was produced with funding and support from the Berger-Marks Foundation.

Salary Differences Between Male and Female Registered Nurses in the United States

Source: Ulrike Muench, Jody Sindelar, Susan H. Busch, Peter I. Buerhaus, JAMA: Journal of the American Medical Association, Research Letter, Vol 313 No. 12, March 24/31 2015
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
Fifty years after the Equal Pay Act, the male-female salary gap has narrowed in many occupations. Yet pay inequality persists for certain occupations, including medicine and nursing. Studies have documented salary differences across clinical settings for diverse cohorts of physicians and higher salaries for male registered nurses (RNs). In nursing, analyses have not considered employment factors that could explain salary differences, have been cross-sectional and have not been based on recent data. The objective of this study was to examine salaries of males and females in nursing over time and to include a more recent sample.

The Status of Women in the States: 2015 — Employment and Earnings

Source: Cynthia Hess, Ariane Hegewisch, Institute for Women’s Policy Research, IWPR #R401, March 2015

From the abstract:
Women make up nearly half of the U.S. workforce, and their earnings are essential to the economic security of families across the nation. Yet, gender equality at work remains elusive. Women who work full-time, year-round still earn only 78 cents on the dollar compared with men, and during the last decade little improvement has been made in closing the gender wage gap (DeNavas-Walt and Proctor 2014). The glass ceiling persists, and occupational segregation—the concentration of women in some jobs and men in others—remains a stubborn feature of the U.S. labor market (Hegewisch et al. 2010). These national trends show up in states across the nation. This report examines women’s earnings and the gender wage gap, women’s labor force participation, and the occupations and industries in which women work. It also considers areas where women have experienced progress toward gender equity in the workforce and places where progress has slowed or stalled.

Worldwide Women Public Sector Leaders Index 2014

Source: EYGM, 2014

From the summary:
Last year, EY published its inaugural Worldwide Index of Women as Public Sector Leaders, which showed that while women account for around 48% of the overall public sector workforce they represent less than 20% of senior public sector leadership roles across the G20. We have updated the research to monitor what progress has been made to match the ambitions and public commitments of many governments.

This year’s study shows that only five countries in the G20 have over a third or more women in senior leadership roles across the public sector. Canada (45.9%), Australia (39.2%), South Africa (38.1%), the United Kingdom (36.2%) and Brazil (33.8%) — occupy the top slots respectively, though South Africa has moved up one place to number three. Overall, the 2014 Index shows a moderately encouraging picture — in all but five of the countries surveyed the proportion of women in public sector leadership posts has increased.

Overall, progress has not been as swift as one might hope. This year’s Index again spotlights the fact that women remain significantly under-represented in senior public service roles of most G20 countries, as well as similarly under-represented in parliaments and ministerial positions. On average, the proportion of women in relation to the overall population in the G20 has grown by 1% or 2% annually. At this rate, it would take at minimum five years for even the countries at the top of the Index to reach parity between men and women in these senior public leadership positions.

Crafting Enhanced Rights for the Religious Business Owner: An Examination of the Supreme Court Decision in Hobby Lobby

Source: James F. Morgan, Labor Law Journal, Vol. 65 no. 4, Winter 2014
(subscription required)

…This article first examines preliminary matters associated with the Hobby Lobby case in order to establish a context for the Court’s decision. The majority opinion, concurring opinion, and two dissenting opinions are the presented and analyzed, doctrinal, precedential, and practical aspects of the decisions are covered. This article concludes with reflections on selected potential implications flowing from the decision of the Court. Although the implications of the Hobby Lobby decision will serve as fodder for discussion within legal, religious, and academic circles for years if not decades to come, there is little debate that the Court’s approach provides a means for religious beliefs and practices to become more prominent in the world of commerce. …

The Satanic Temple, Scott Walker, and Contraception: A Partial Account of Hobby Lobby’s Implications for State Law

Source: Kara Loewentheil, Columbia Law School, Columbia Public Law Research Paper No. 14-426, November 9, 2014

From the abstract:
Reaction to the Supreme Court’s opinion in Hobby Lobby v. Burwell was swift and extreme from almost all quarters. Members of the Satanic Temple, a religious group focused on personal autonomy, individual freedom, and ethical action, announced that they would henceforth be objecting to so-called “informed consent” statutes in the abortion services context. Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s administration, on the other hand, announced that he would no longer be enforcing Wisconsin’s contraceptive equity law because it was “preempted” by the Supreme Court’s decision. In this Article, I demonstrate that Scott Walker’s administration and the Satanic Temple have more in common than it might superficially appear.
In fact, there are three common threads that tie their (seemingly diametrical) efforts together. First, both Scott Walker’s administration and the Satanists read Hobby Lobby too broadly. Rather than creating an era of religious exemptions on demand, Hobby Lobby should be read to have a limited impact on state law, even as persuasive authority. Second, both Scott Walker’s administration and the Satanists fail to appreciate the continuing relevance and impact of many other state and federal laws that continue to provide protection for reproductive rights, including contraceptive access. Third, Scott Walker’s administration and the Satanists share a common strategy of attempting to use claims of religious objection to regulation affecting women’s reproductive rights as a tool for political mobilization of their respective – and antithetical – political communities. In this, however, they are closer to the mark: Hobby Lobby does open up new possibilities for claims of exemption. Politically conservative exemptions have been well-represented in the social, political and legal discourse around the Hobby Lobby fallout. But what has been less appreciated is that however open the regime is for culturally conservative religious objections, it is equally open for progressive religious objections as well.

In tracing these three common threads between SW and the Satanists, the purpose of this Article is both descriptive and analytic. Analytically, it seeks to unearth the serious point behind the Satanists seemingly facetious accommodation campaign: conservatives do not have a monopoly on accommodation. Progressives, too, can look to religious objection claims under RFRA as a means of effecting change in the legal system. For these efforts to be effective, however, we have to be clear – descriptively – about what Hobby Lobby does and does not do.

This Article explores these questions in four parts. In Part I, it provides a brief refresher on RFRA, Hobby Lobby, and Wheaton College. In Part II, it uses the lens of the Walker Administration’s inaccurate understanding of preemption and RFRA to maps the overlapping regulatory regimes requiring insurance coverage of contraceptives and analyze the implications of the Hobby Lobby decision. In doing so it demonstrates that state-mandated contraceptive coverage continues in force even for religiously-affiliated organizations and closely-held corporations that might be eligible for a religious accommodation from the ACA’s contraceptive coverage requirement. In Part III, using the lens of the Satanic Temple’s “exemption” form, it outlines the obstacles to DIY exemption or accommodation efforts. In Part IV, it explores the underlying idea that individual citizens may make religious objections to the law for progressive purposes, focusing on how such objections might operate when levied against state limitations on the exercise of reproductive rights and access to reproductive health care.

Men, Fathers, and Work-Family Balance

Source: Erin Rehel & Emily Baxter, Center for American Progress, February 4, 2015

From the summary:
…. While it is important to address the specific needs of women and mothers as workers, the aim of this issue brief is to outline how work-life issues such as workplace flexibility, paid leave, and pay equity should very much be seen as issues affecting men directly, not just in their roles as partners, fathers, colleagues, and friends of women. ….

Bounding the Labor Supply Responses to a Randomized Welfare Experiment: A Revealed Preference Approach

Source: Patrick Kline, Melissa Tartari, National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), NBER Working Paper No. w20838, January 2015

From the abstract:
We study the short-term impact of Connecticut’s Jobs First welfare reform experiment on women’s labor supply and program participation decisions. A non-parametric optimizing model is shown to restrict the set of counterfactual choices compatible with each woman’s actual choice. These revealed preference restrictions yield informative bounds on the frequency of several intensive and extensive margin responses to the experiment. We find that welfare reform induced many women to work but led some others to reduce their earnings in order to receive assistance. The bounds on this latter “opt-in” effect imply that intensive margin labor supply responses are non-trivial.

Gender as a Boundary Condition of Models of Union Women’s Mental Health and Participation in Relation to Perceived Union Tolerance for Sexual Harassment

Source: Steven Mellor, Leslie M. Golay, Employee Responsibilities and Rights Journal, Online First September 2, 2014
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
Do models of union women’s mental health and union participation extend to union men? To answer this question, we attempted to replicate two supported models using data from union men (N = 150): The interactional effect model of union women’s mental health and the conditional indirect effect model of women’s union participation (Mellor and Golay in Employee Responsibilities and Rights Journal, 2014a, Journal of Psychology: Interdisciplinary and Applied, 148, 73–91, 2014b). In both models, perceived union tolerance for sexual harassment is positioned as a moderator of the predictor-outcome relationship. Retests of the models did not suggest favorable replication. As such, neither model was extended to men. Implications for sexual harassment theory and union intervention are discussed.