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Wage Inequality And The Gender Gap45:56Download

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Actress Patricia Arquette called for wage equality for women in her passionate Oscar acceptance speech.  We’ll dig in to the gender wage gap now.

Patricia Arquette accepts the award for best actress in a supporting role for “Boyhood” at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 22, 2015, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. (AP)
Patricia Arquette accepts the award for best actress in a supporting role for “Boyhood” at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 22, 2015, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. (AP)

Actress Patricia Arquette got the Oscars fired up in a hurry Sunday night when she took the microphone – gleaming statuette in hand – to go after pay disparities for women.  “We’ve fought for everybody else’s equal rights,” she proclaimed from center stage.  “It’s our time to have wage equality.”  Meryl Streep was on her feet in a nano-sceond, fist pumping.  Jennifer Lopez was right beside her.  It’s a hot-button issue.  There was praise for Arquette.  And also questions about the numbers, the message.  This hour On Point:  Gender equity.  What women earn.  And the Arquette cry for equal pay.
-- Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Heidi Hartmann, president of the Institute for Women's Policy Research. Professor at George Washington University. Author of "Still A Man's Labor Market" and "Unnecessary Losses." (@heidiatiwpr)

Beth Livingston, professor of human resource sutdies at the Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations. (@BLivi)

Melissa Silverstein, founder and editor of Women and Hollwyood. Co-founder and artistic director of the Athena Film Festival in New York. (@melsil)

From Tom’s Reading List

The Wall Street Journal: Hollywood’s Pay Gap Looks a Lot Like Ours — "Actress Patricia Arquette’s plea to address the wage disparity between female and male workers received a rousing ovation from Meryl Streep and other Hollywood royalty on Sunday. One reason: When it comes to the gender gap in wages, the entertainment industry looks like the rest of us."

Washington Post: Patricia Arquette gets it: The real gender wage gap is for moms — "There's not so much a gender pay gap as there is a motherhoodpay gap. And there's new research all the time explaining why it persists. Women make 82 cents for every dollar a man makes, according to the most recent figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. But when you break that down, the situation looks a lot better for women who've never married — those women only make five percent less than single men."

Vox: Why women like Patricia Arquette continue to whitewash feminism — "The wage gap in America extends far beyond the film industry. A Labor Department measure of weekly wages finds that women make 78 percent of what men make. It's a controversial topic because the pay disparity is influenced by so many different factors (such as state, and employer, and time worked). But it certainly exists, and it is even more stark for women who aren't white."

This program aired on February 25, 2015.

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