As a company that has dedicated more than 30 years to improving the lives of individuals and strengthening the communities in which we live, KRA Corporation cast an intrigued eye over two interesting articles—both of which dealt with disparities in what workers have traditionally gotten paid—from the different DOL departments in the official blog, Work in Progress.
Most interesting was the scope of focus regarding how the various tiers of payment practices and the discrepancies that exist have affected workers among certain groups. As many strides have been made in creating parity in the workforce since the turn of the 20th century, KRA Corporation recognizes that there remain some glaring gaps that will have to be tackled before a level and equitable playing field can exist.
The first article, Keeping the Promise of Opportunity, by Secretary of Labor Tom Perez, took a highline approach to addressing an issue that has been on the workforce radar as high up as the Oval Office—increasing the federal minimum wage. It is something that he sees as “part of a larger struggle to cut poverty and to address the challenge of income inequality.”
This is an issue that has drawn criticism from many detractors but one that President Obama (dubbing it “unfinished business”) has openly supported and which remains a hot topic issue on Capitol Hill—so much so that Lauren Fox of U.S. News believes it is a powerful enough issue that it will be used for political leverage in 2014.
The second article, Women of Color: An Economic Snapshot, penned by acting director of the Labor Department’s Women’s Bureau, Latifa Lyles, offers an interesting and more granular look at a particular segment of the workforce that is directly impacted by disparities in equality within the payment structure—women of color.
The statistical analysis of the differences details just how marked a gap there is in earnings, despite similar capabilities. Noting the positive steps that are being taken to narrowing that earnings margin, it remains staggering to see just how disparate of scale that exists between genders and then even more so between races.
Both articles highlight the breadth and depth of the issues surrounding pay scale discrepancies in the workforce. It is a concern that will require a concerted and focused effort—at both a company and Federal level—in creating an equitable balance among members of the U.S. workforce.
KRA Corporation advocates for equality in all facets of workforce development, both in earning and equitable treatment among all members constituting the workforce, and our team will continue to support the efforts of those changing the status quo at a policy level. We offer our sincerest thanks to those companies that further the move toward payment equality as a standard practice.