E-flections of an Educator

Nice Gesture, but…

Posted on: April 8, 2014

This week, the Today Show is doing a series on breaking Guinness World Records. On Monday, April 7, Lia Grimanis attempted to break the world record for pulling the heaviest vehicle–in 3-inch heels. In addition to going for the record, formerly homeless Lia’s goal was to raise awareness and money for a foundation helping women in poverty. This money was coming from The Walmart Foundation.

Although she made a valiant effort, Lia did not succeed; both the grade of the pavement and the lack of traction in her 3-inch heels factored into this. As soon as she conceded defeat, the representatives from Walmart rushed into the shot with the giant check and presented it anyway.

I couldn’t help but think perhaps if Walmart (and, to be fair, other companies) was more interested in paying a living wage* there would be less need for such organizations. Especially when we still need to acknowledge Equal Pay Day, “the symbolic day when women’s earnings finally catch up to men’s earnings from the previous year.”

As a teacher who has worked under a union-negotiated contract for over 25 years, I’ve never had to deal with gender inequity with regard to my wages. And for that, I am thankful. But the fight continues.

 

*The website linked here is just one among many yielded with google search “Walmart poverty wages.”

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