Not long ago, we learned that Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump made some lewd, sexually explicit comments toward women 11 years ago. In the aftermath of this media firestorm, my opponent, Glen Casada, went on record stating he still supports Trump. The level of disrespect towards women from these male politicians is disappointing, disgusting and downright unacceptable. There is no place for it in our politics, in our households and in the workplace.
The value women bring to the workplace has been undermined by this type of objectification, which leads to us to being disrespected, sexually harassed, “mansplained,” and overlooked for career opportunities. Women have made great strides in the workplace in an effort to break down barriers, blaze trails and shatter glass ceilings. We are leaders, innovators, critical thinkers, change agents, justice seekers, and the majority of the population. However, despite our achievements, we are still vastly underrepresented in corporate and government leadership, as well as in cutting edge STEM-based fields and therefore are not paid the same salary as our male counterparts.
According to the American Association of University Women (AAUW) of Tennessee, women who work full-time earn on average about 78 cents for every dollar a full-time male worker earns, and this pay gap especially impacts Tennessee families since 70% of Tennessee women work. The pay gap is a family issue. Forty percent of households with children include a mother who is either the sole or primary earner for her family. Six out of 10 families include both parents working. Today, most women we know work and take care of their families at the same time. Their income is important to the economic well-being of their families and the community.
It’s time women receive equal pay for equal work, and I will fully support state legislation that ensures this happens in Tennessee.