Nationally and in Texas, political debate has flared anew on the issue of equal pay for women doing the same work as men.Is there real pay discrepancy due to widespread and entrenched — even if subtle — discrimination against women, or can conditions be explained by individual choices and circumstances mixed and manipulated for the political arena?Often-unrecognized reasons for gender pay gap are personality and personal experience. Believe it or not, men and women are different — we function differently throughout our daily lives. We learn from those closest to us. It may take a few generations of working women adjusting their skill sets and handing those down to their daughters to change how women choose careers and navigate the professional world. We don’t need government to fix anything. — Teresa Moore, Fort WorthI believe there is a real job-by- job male/female pay discrepancy. In January 2007 I took responsibilities and position of a gentleman who’s wage rate was $37.40 per hour. I was told since I did not have the same qualifications and experience I would not be making the same rate of pay as my former boss. At the time of my promotion my personal rate-of-pay increased from $14.50 to $15.70 per hour. Seven very successful years later, I have attained the same educational degree (associate) and have only one less year of practical experience. My current rate of pay is $25.39; $12.01 less than my predecessor’s 2007 termination wage. — Shelby Simpson, Fort WorthAs a human resources professional, I can honestly say that none of the companies I have worked for has separate pay scales for men and women, or systemically pays women less than men for doing the same job. All of these companies based their pay scales on employees’ years of experience, and the skills needed to do the job. Of course, some employees had more in-demand skills, and some employees were better at negotiating salary than others, but as a whole, men and women are paid equally for performing equal work. Another factor is that women have traditionally chosen to work in jobs that are not especially well-paying: teachers, nurses and secretaries. Many women also will be out of the workforce for years while they stay at home with their children, so they end up with less years of experience and lower salaries than their male coworkers in the same jobs. — Christie Partee, GrapevineAccording to the Independent Women’s Forum, when apples are compared to apples — i.e., when women are compared to men with the same education levels, experience and work hours put in — it turns out the pay gap reduces dramatically. Women earn roughly 97 cents on the male dollar.Even more striking, when single, childless women living in cities are compared with single, childless men in cities, turns out the former earn $1.08 for every dollar earned. As for getting ahead, the IWF also cites a Federal Reserve Bank of New York study noting that men favor majors that lead to more high-paying jobs. — James V. Lee, Fort WorthThe equal pay for women platform is rearing its head to end subjugation and discrimination and reset labor laws to accommodate both sexes in the wage arena where men currently dominate, as if in a monopoly, for current weekly wages.Equal pay has become the pièce de résistance for scores of women and since many are voters, politicians best pay attention if they expect their votes. — Darlene Rogers, Fort WorthWhen talking about equal pay for women, the rationale has been that there aren’t as many women in higher-level positions.Why aren’t men being hired for the “lower-paying” (lower level) positions? It seems as if we have remained in a social structure that has women doing all the administrative, detailed-oriented work in almost all offices, from law firms to doctors’ and dentists’ offices to the White House. Just look at the organization chart at almost every workplace. Very few have men at the lower levels. They get to skip several rungs on the ladder!Men should have to work their way up, too! — Paulette Wagner, HurstEqual, equal, equal. Democrats think they can make everyone and everything on earth equal. There are many issues involved in determining a perons’s salary and it should be decided between the employer and employee, not the government. Obama loves to bring up talking points in order to divide people by race, class, gender or whatever he can think of to gain favor of a particular group.Unfortunately he has achieved some success in this type of “warfare,” but that success has resulted in dividing the people of this country in ways heretofore conceived of. — Clista Hancock, Arlington
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