Last Friday I had the honor of speaking to a sold-out crowd at the Santa Clara County Commssion on the Status of Women. Eighty-eight years after women secured the right to vote and forty-five years after the passage of the Equal Pay Act, our panel explored equal pay, change in government, and women in the White House.
LaDoris Cordell, former Superior Court Judge and Vice Provost, Stanford, moderated the group and kept the discussion lively. I think she has potential on Saturday Night Live! Irma Herrera, Executive Director of Equal Rights Advocates, shared the impact of the Walmart litigation on equal rights for women.
I discussed whether women will ever receive Equal Pay for Equal Work. Nationally women now earn 78 percent of what their make counterparts earn, but the figure is 65 percent in Santa Clara, the heart of the Silicon Valley—equal to Louisiana, the state with the second largest gender gap! Why do women continue to lag their male counterparts?
Maybe its that girl power works at school, but not at the office? Maybe it’s that women don’t have linear careers and 60 percent will OffRamp, go part-time or flex during their career and the pay penalty is high when they return or request flexibility? I believe that a flexible workforce is the answer for both women and men, which is why YourOnRamp will host two key flexible work events this fall in Orange Country on October 16 and at Kellogg in Chicago on November 18. Stay tuned.
Lastly, we were all upstaged by the final panelist, sixteen-year-old Sejal Hathi, founder of Girls Helping Girls. Sejal was a truly inspiring and eloquent speaker and gave us all hope that the next generation of women will have equal pay and earn a seat in the White House!
Photo courtesy of YourOnRamp