At our recent state convention, several members of the American Association of University Women of Minnesota had a discussion about Lilly Ledbetter’s book, "Grace and Grit: My Fight for Equal Pay and Fairness at Goodyear and Beyond." Ledbetter worked for Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company in Gadsen, Ala. She had grown up in Possum Trot, Ala., and had worked in the cotton fields as soon as she was old enough. She knew that a good day’s work resulted in a good day’s pay and knew that boys and girls in the fields received the same pay. She assumed that was how the job market worked.
When she was ready to enter the job market, she landed a dream job with Goodyear. After several years of hard work, she was the first woman to be promoted to supervisor at her workplace. She was proud that her advanced training and hard work had resulted in her promotion to be one of four supervisors. One day, however, she discovered that all three of the male supervisors, her peers, received significantly more pay than she. Her pay was $3,727 per month. The lowest paid male supervisor received $4,286 per month.
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Camey Thibodeau is the editorial assistant at the Faribault Daily News. Reach her at 333-3130.