Hey mom, are we there yet?

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03/29/2010

I was reading the latest issue of Newsweek yesterday and one article caught my eye. It had to do with how far, and not so far, women have come in the workplace over the last 40 years.

In 1970, 46 female employees ("dollies," they were called) sued Newsweek for gender discrimination. Fast-forward to 2010: Much has changed, says the article, titled "Are we there yet?" but sadly, women (everywhere, not just at the magazine) have not totally caught up. In 2010, women still earn only 77 cents on the dollar to men. In 2010, women who hold MBAs earn $4,600 less per year in their first job out of B-school then their male counterparts. In 2010, 43% of all women are employed as secretaries, nurses, teachers and cashiers, very little change from 1960. You get my drift.

Coincidentally, at HME News last week, we were trying to think of a few strong women leaders in the industry. We know you're out there. But, it is far easier to list a bunch of strong and, frankly, not-so-strong male executives in the HME world. And, I know from the many Medtrade shows I've attended, pen and notebook in hand, that I often have to seek out women when looking for a balanced variety of quotes. Why is that?

What is the make up of your company? Are there women in the upper ranks or are they answering phones and doing the billing? Whatever their job description, are their salaries on par with male colleagues doing the same work?

Theresa Flaherty