Bethlehem Press

Sunday, June 25, 2017
Reminders of gender pay inequality are scattered on tables in the Bethlehem Brew Works’ Steel Garden where women and men gathered to support pay equality for women. Reminders of gender pay inequality are scattered on tables in the Bethlehem Brew Works’ Steel Garden where women and men gathered to support pay equality for women.
press photos by dana grubbA group of early arrivals gathers to show support for women’s pay equality. press photos by dana grubbA group of early arrivals gathers to show support for women’s pay equality.

Women stand up for equal pay

Tuesday, April 11, 2017 by Dana Grubb Special to the Bethlehem Press in Local News

Further complicating the economic issues for women, Oakley pointed out that 47 percent of women in college graduate into the workforce with at least $30,000 in student loan debt, needing six more years than their male counterparts to pay off the debt, thus incurring higher interest costs. This sets them back when it comes to investing in 401Ks, affects credit scores, and delays purchasing homes and financing cars. Essentially, said Oakley, this puts them behind males facing the same economic and life issues.

According to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, women in Pennsylvania have an uphill battle to achieve pay equity because only 17.8 percent of them hold seats in the state legislature and Pennsylvania is ranked 23rd among states with a C+ rating in employment and earnings. Given this and other factors such as poverty and opportunity, health and well-being, and work and family, research shows that Pennsylvania women won’t reach pay equity until 2072.

Oakley encourages women to be more informed politically and find out which elected representatives are looking out for their best interests. She also recommends that they stay informed on issues facing them in the workplace and elsewhere.