Glass Ceiling Joins List of Life’s Certainties

Nov 24, 2003
George Anderson

By George Anderson

A report from the General Accounting Office (GAO) released last week said that, even when accounting for various factors such as marital status and the number of hours worked,
women make about 20-percent less than men.

Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., who commissioned the GAO study along with Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich., said. “After accounting for so many external factors, it seems that
still, at the root of it all, men get an inherent annual bonus just for being men. If this continues, the only guarantees in life will be death, taxes and the glass ceiling.”

Part of the reason for the wide gap between what men and women earn can be attributed to personal choice, according to the authors of the study. Women will sometimes seek greater
job flexibility while passing on advancement so they can meet family obligations.

Beth Shulman, author of The Betrayal of Work: How Low-Wage Jobs Fail 30 Million Americans told the Cox News Service the many women are faced with a trade-off of
working in low paying jobs to spend more time with their children.

Ms. Shulman advocates an increase in the minimum wage and universal health care coverage to correct the inequities of the system as she sees it.

Moderator’s Comment: What is your reaction to the results of the GAO study on women’s wages?

The glass ceiling isn’t a certainty as Congresswoman Maloney suggests. It would be foolish, however, to pretend that it doesn’t exist. [George
Anderson – Moderator

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