July 3, 2004

Wichita Eagle Editorial

Just came across this must-read editorial published in today's edition of the Wichita Eagle concisely makes the case in point, which have been illustrated in several previous blog postings of mine these last three days:


Wal-Mart's steamrolling success has made it the American company that Americans currently love to hate, even as they take advantage of its vast selection and cheap prices. So it's probably lucky that the court of public opinion isn't the venue for the lawsuit newly certified as a class action by a federal judge in California.


But the allegations against Wal-Mart mirror a broader problem, recently noted in a U.S. Census report as a "substantial gap in median earnings between men and women that is unexplained" even after accounting for work experience, education and occupation.

Three decades after feminists wore "59 cents" buttons to protest the wage gap, women overall still earn 74 percent of what men do, according to the census report. In high-earning jobs, women make 55 cents for every dollar earned by men. When it comes to securing equal pay for equal work, the progress has been too little and too slow.

So the value of such a lawsuit is bigger than this case, one of emboldening working women and spurring employers to purge gender discrimination from their own factory floors and office suites.

Through their stories and their willingness to tell them in court, the Wal-Mart women will be sending an essential message to other businesses: Discrimination against women in salary and promotion is wrong, and it's past time that it ceased.

Read the editorial in full (seven paragraphs), here.

Posted by Morgan on July, 3 2004 at 03:28 PM