My Passion

February 14, 2008

In honor of Valentine’s Day, I thought I’d write about passion — in this case, my passion about equity and why it is still an issue to me. I’m not even thinking about the inequities of job opportunities and/or salary when I first entered the workplace; that’s old news now.

Instead, I think about the inequities still facing women today. When I recently read the article “Tech Pay Gap Between Men and Women Grew Last Year,” which reports that even in the IT field men earn higher entry-levels salaries than women do — well, steam started coming out of my ears. I’m thankful at least that AAUW’s recent research report Behind the Pay Gap continues to receive media coverage and to educate the public about this continuing salary discrepancy problem.

I also think of women’s passion for gender equity and realize how different generations view the same issue, as beautifully portrayed in the recent New York Times article “Feminists Find Unity Is Elusive.” This really points to the importance of women of all ages understanding how someone younger or older may view the same subject and how can we communicate across those perceptions to agree on the need for change.

So, Happy Valentine’s Day! For those of you who share my passion, let’s send a special message to folks we know who would benefit from a link to sites like AAUW’s that focus on today’s equity issues. As for me, I know two young women (my nieces, ages 23 and 17) who nod their heads when I spout my views but who do pay attention to Facebook. I’ll be sending them a special message by posting it on their “wall” instead.

Christy Jones, CAE By:   |   February 14, 2008


  1. Avatar Lois Whealey says:

    I am a retired person who did not work long enough (10 years/40 quarters) to be eligible for Social Security, or for a teacher’s pension. I have been a homemaker/citizen activist/volunteer for 45 years.
    So I am very much aware of the economic consequences to women of the lower wages they earn over their working (outside the home) lifetimes. Even women who work faithfully for over 40 years will retire with significantly lower benefits than their male colleagues.
    Wake up, young women! You need organizations like AAUW to do the research and then the lobbying needed to alert governmental and business leaders to the needs of women!

  2. Avatar Judith Mawhinney says:

    Reading the “My Passion” post by Christy Jones triggered a thought about an event that occurred recently when my husband and I met with a Title Officer and Bank Representative to apply for a reverse mortgage. Equity is still an issue!

    Being retired from management in the field of governmental services, I often experienced painful inequities surrounding me. Frustration was a daily feeling as I fought to promote my program to the community funded by Federal and state policy. Last month, following my retirement from this position, I once again faced gender inequality.

    As my husband and I sat across from these two male bank officers during the ceremony, our role was to sign our name to approximately 20 pages of Bureaucratic information verifying that we understood what was written. My husband’s name appeared first at every turn. When I asked why they placed my name to the right or under his name, the response was one of silence and a look of shock. In other words, why would I ask such a question. “This is the norm” was the response.

    Let’s continue to voice our thoughts.

  3. Avatar Charmaine says:

    I also recently realized that a corporation as an entity was legally given inalienable rights as a person many years before women were even given full rights as people.

    As a black woman I’m often painfully aware of inequities of many types. It’s great to have the power of an organization such as AAUW keeping a light on for all of us.

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