Rep. Kuster talks women's economic issues
Congresswoman Annie Kuster led a roundtable discussion Wednesday morning at Franklin Pierce University on the issues that affect a women's economic success. (MEGHAN PIERCE PHOTO)
"Pink Legos. That's the new thing," she said. "They are trying to make those games and types of things more attractive or meaningful."
Kuster, 57, said she can still remember her older sisters only having cheerleading available to them as a school sport.
"I think it made a big difference in my life in terms of confidence," Kuster said.
Women and girls need to know they can try and fail and that they don't have to be perfect, she said.
"It's different. Men can get gray. They can age gracefully, but we're supposed to keep our hair colored. We're supposed to keep as young as possible because that's what we're competing with," Lafond said.
Kuster said it's hard for people to imagine that it is legal and that some people still think that way, but said she believes it happens in subtle ways.
"It's amazing how we're still doing this," Gaal said. "Can Hilary run in 2016 because she's going to be a grandmother? You would never ask a man that. … Nobody asked Romney if he should be running for president when he has so many grandchildren."
According to Kuster, women in New Hampshire and across the country continue to make only 77 cents for every dollar made by their male counterparts.
The company has a unique and successful “Babies at Work” program that allows employees to bring newborns to work.
The company has been successful even during the recession and has extremely loyal employees because its family friendly policies.
Kuster said she also supports The Fair Minimum Wage Act. Raising the minimum wage would also have an effect on the pay gap since women represent nearly two-thirds of minimum wage workers, she said.
Wednesday afternoon Charlie Arlinghaus at the Josiah Bartlett Center said there is no point to the Pay Check Fairness Act.
“It would be illegal today to pay women less than men for the same job,” he said. “Many of the statics on this are misleading.”
Even in President Barack Obama’s White House women are paid about 80 cents on the dollar to men, but that is because the women have different jobs, he said. “It not that President Obama has chosen to discriminate, it’s because the jobs are different.”
What it comes done to is seniority in the workplace, Arlinghaus said, women will leave the workplace to have children, or start a different career after they have children and the results in them having less seniority in the workplace.
“It’s all politics and I think so many things like this are. It’s great politically to do something like this, but it’s not going to have a big effect. Frankly it’s not going to have any effect.”
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