50 Ways-Rockbridge

Research, Educate, Act

Women’s Rights Talking Points: Workplace Policies and Fairness


Workplace Policies and Fairness



The Bureau of Labor Statistics tells us that each year more women, and more women of color, gain “labor force attachment,” a fact which underscores the need for greater attention to workplace equity.  Workplace issues include fair pay, appropriate policies for and adjudication of sexual and racial discrimination, harassment, and retaliation, the Family and Medical Leave Act, and fair access to training programs and promotion.  There are also many complicated issues (e.g. negotiation for fair raises; medical leave; child care) for workers whose primary jobs are in the informal economy.


The American Association of University Women has just published the Spring, 2017, edition of The Simple Truth About the Gender Pay Gap.  The report provides state-by-state rankings of pay gap information.  No state has female-male equal pay, but some few states have white women making 80-89% of what men make (full-time employment; controlling for all other factors).  Virginia is in the 75-79% range for white women. In the country overall, Latina women make 54 cents on the white man’s dollar, African-American women make 63 cents on that dollar, and white women make 79 cents on the dollar.


*See this summary of pay gap statistics for the U.S.:  http://www.aauw.org/what-we-do/public-policy/aauw-issues/gender-pay-gap/ .

*See this pay gap report for Virginia:  http://www.aauw.org/files/2017/02/Virginia-Pay-Gap-2017.pdf.


Addressing the pay gap first will provide momentum for addressing other workplace issues, primarily because there is already national and state momentum moving in this direction.  The AAUW-VA Pay Gap report (linked above) not only provides statistics, but also gives a checklist of actions and contacts.  This should serve as our guiding document for the next six months to a year.



  • Hiring
  • Pay gap data; make sure to do the accounting for larger gaps for Latina and African-American women
  • Child care programs
  • Sexual and racial discrimination, harassment, retaliation
  • Fair policies; Title IX and Title VII
  • Training programs
  • Promotion
  • Leadership; sponsorship





  • Get on the AAUW mailing list for weekly actions
  • Letters to editor on workplace equity
  • Ben Cline and Bob Goodlatte policy research and communications (letters to editor; e-mails; phone calls; town hall meetings; etc.)
  • Connection with other Indivisible groups


  • Get on Planned Parenthood list
  • Get on Ms./ Feminist Majority mailing list
  • Rallies, marches
  • AND?


Respectfully submitted,

Ellen Mayock










%d bloggers like this: