“It’s because of the women who inspire and dare to dream big that our future looks so bright.”
Our country has made progress towards equality for women in the workplace. Women now make up 47% of the workforce, and the number of women in the workforce with college degrees has quadrupled since 1970. But there are still significant systemic barriers that hold women back. In Congress, my legislative priorities to ensure equal economic opportunity for women will include:
- Equal Pay – The numbers don’t lie. In 2016, women working full time in the United States made 80 cents for every dollar that men made. For non-white women, the difference is even greater. Black women made 63% of what white men made, while Hispanic and Latina women made just 54% – this is unacceptable. The underlying social and economic forces contributing to this gap are complex, and require both shifts in cultural norms and government action. That’s why I support the Paycheck Fairness Act, which will provide effective recourse for women who have been victims of wage discrimination.
- Paid Family Leave – The United States is the only industrialized nation that does not have paid family leave. Though some employers do provide paid leave voluntarily, only 15% of the workforce has it. The current policies especially harm women, who bear more of the burden balancing work and family than men do. As Senator Gillibrand said in 2016, many women can’t even get a day off to give birth. Our country can do better and must do better. I support the Family and Medical Insurance Leave (FAMILY) Act, which would establish a national paid leave system.