Exactly what they said on Equal Pay

by - Tuesday, October 16, 2012

from indulgy.com/post/w3fo3XRtL1/susan-b-anthony

PRESIDENT OBAMA: ...the first bill I signed was something called the Lily Ledbetter bill. And it's named after this amazing woman who had been doing the same job as a man for years, found out that she was getting paid less, and the Supreme Court said that she couldn't bring suit because she should have found about it earlier, whereas she had no way of finding out about it. So we fixed that. And that's an example of the kind of advocacy that we need, because women are increasingly the breadwinners in the family. This is not just a women's issue, this is a family issue, this is a middle-class issue, and that's why we've got to fight for it. It also means that we've got to make sure that young people like yourself are able to afford a college education. Earlier, Governor Romney talked about he wants to make Pell Grants and other education accessible for young people. Well, the truth of the matter is, is that that's exactly what we've done. We've expanded Pell Grants for millions of people, including millions of young women, all across the country.
We did it by taking $60 billion that was going to banks and lenders as middlemen for the student loan program, and we said, let's just cut out the middleman. Let's give the money directly to students. And as a consequence, we've seen millions of young people be able to afford college, and that's going to make sure that young women are going to be able to compete in that marketplace.
But we've got to enforce the laws, which is what we are doing, and we've also got to make sure that in every walk of life we do not tolerate discrimination. That's been one of the hallmarks of my administration. I'm going to continue to push on this issue for the next four years.
CANDY CROWLEY: Governor Romney, pay equity for women?
GOVERNOR ROMNEY: Thank you. And important topic, and one which I learned a great deal about, particularly as I was serving as governor of my state, because I had the chance to pull together a cabinet and all the applicants seemed to be men.
And I -- and I went to my staff, and I said, "How come all the people for these jobs are -- are all men." They said, "Well, these are the people that have the qualifications." And I said, "Well, gosh, can't we -- can't we find some -- some women that are also qualified?" And -- and so we -- we took a concerted effort to go out and find women who had backgrounds that could be qualified to become members of our cabinet. I went to a number of women's groups and said, "Can you help us find folks," and they brought us whole binders full of women.
I was proud of the fact that after I staffed my Cabinet and my senior staff, that the University of New York in Albany did a survey of all 50 states, and concluded that mine had more women in senior leadership positions than any other state in America.
Now one of the reasons I was able to get so many good women to be part of that team was because of our recruiting effort. But number two, because I recognized that if you're going to have women in the workforce that sometimes you need to be more flexible. My chief of staff, for instance, had two kids that were still in school. She said, I can't be here until 7 or 8 o'clock at night. I need to be able to get home at 5 o'clock so I can be there for making dinner for my kids and being with them when they get home from school. So we said fine. Let's have a flexible schedule so you can have hours that work for you.
We're going to have to have employers in the new economy, in the economy I'm going to bring to play, that are going to be so anxious to get good workers they're going to be anxious to hire women. In the -- in the last women have lost 580,000 jobs. That's the net of what's happened in the last four years. We're still down 580,000 jobs. I mentioned 31/2 million women, more now in poverty than four years ago.
What we can do to help young women and women of all ages is to have a strong economy, so strong that employers that are looking to find good employees and bringing them into their workforce and adapting to a flexible work schedule that gives women opportunities that they would otherwise not be able to afford.
This is what I have done. It's what I look forward to doing and I know what it takes to make an economy work, and I know what a working economy looks like. And an economy with 7.8 percent unemployment is not a real strong economy. An economy that has 23 million people looking for work is not a strong economy. An economy with 50 percent of kids graduating from college that can't finds a job, or a college level job, that's not what we have to have.
Read More http://www.glamour.com/inspired/blogs/the-conversation/2012/10/second-presidential-debate-who.html#ixzz29WoG8yFC

I have to say, I haven't watched the delivery (and I haven't checked into the facts yet), but I am not as shocked and disgusted by this Romney thing as people are sure I should be. It does come off as condescending, but there isn't anything wrong with pointing out he did hire women and that flexible hours might help working moms (though of course they could help working dads too... but seriously, maternity leave and flexibility is a real issue in academia) and even if he didn't quite get there, if that is where he was going I don't have a problem with it. Of course, the longview of Romney on women's rights look plenty bad on their own (how many women work at Bain capitol? Plus, anything with reproductive rights is pretty horrifying), so I see no reason to blow these particular comments out of proportion. 

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  1. we just talked about the Lily Ledbetter case in class! i like this amendment because EEOC has a 180 day statue of limitations for discrimination cases (in this case, gender) and so many companies do now "allow" workers to discuss pay - i believe mostly for this reason. if lily would have won, her case, her company would have had to shell out some serious $$$$ for the wage gap.
    but what i think is sad is how Romney's cabinet had all sorts of qualified women in their binders but none in the stack of applications? seems kinda shady on whoever does his application sorting process - but it is respectable that he came back and corrected the problem. i definitely wouldn't mind a more flexible work schedule - but what you do for one sex you have to do for the other. he wouldn't be able to single out just working moms. working dads can pick up their kids and cook dinner too. seems really good on paper, but in reality, i'm not sure how well that idea would work.