The facts outlined in Sarah Schweitzer’s article “Mass. lags on pay for women” (Page A1, Dec. 10) present a clear mandate to place greater value on the work that women do in their households, in the workplace, and in society.
Many attribute the wage gap to women choosing lower-paying careers. When more women entered the workforce during World War II, many of their occupations were devalued, perceived as “women’s work,” declining in skill, influence, and salary. The problem is not simply that women are choosing undervalued jobs; it is that society is undervaluing the jobs of women.
As managers, we need to value the work of women through our personnel decisions and negotiations, and create flexible, family-friendly workplace policies for all employees. As women, we need to take pride in our value when making difficult career decisions, negotiating pay raises, and navigating household divisions of labor.
As the CEO of Big Sister Association of Greater Boston, I ensure that young girls are placed in positive mentoring relationships and develop the confidence essential to thrive. I hope that when they embark upon careers, they find managers and professional mentors who empower them to make good decisions, and a society that fully values their contributions.