Real progress has been made by women to eliminate the pay gap and achieve equality, but there is still so much still to do. On August 1st I was invited to the White House to debrief the United State of Women Summit that was hosted by First Lady Michelle Obama and Oprah in Washington DC in June. The Summit rallied 5,000 participants from across the country to celebrate what we’ve achieved in the areas of economic empowerment, health and wellness, entrepreneurship, education, civic engagement and stopping violence against women.
Speaking at the United State of Women Summit was an incredible experience. I never imagined that I would be on the same stage as President Obama, Kerry Washington and Attorney General Loretta Lynch. I spoke on a panel with equal pay advocate Lilly Ledbetter, to discuss the state of women in the workplace. I shared the need to expand access to job protected paid leave for all workers.
In Georgia we have been fighting to pass the Family Care Act, a bill that will allow workers to use the sick time they have earned to provide care for their family members without facing punitive actions from their employer. When women don’t have access to these types of protections it contributes to the wage gap, because women generally take on more caregiving responsibilities. If women workers continue to be fired, written up and passed over for promotions because of family caregiving, we will continue to lose ground in the fight for equal pay.
August 23rd is Black Women’s Equal Pay Day: the date in 2016 that Black women have to work in order earn what their White male counterparts earned in 2015. We want to build on the momentum of the Summit by asking you to join the movement for equal pay and gender equality and participating in the Black Women Equal Pay Day twitter storm. Simply log into twitter on Tuesday August 23rd from 6-8p and engage in the conversation around equal pay by searching for and using the hashtag:
We hope to see you tweeting on August 23rd in support of the fight for Equal Pay for all!