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I was wondering if you could point me to any information concerning why pay equity reform has been more successful in the public sector than in the private sector. Also wanted to know what you thought reformers could do to bring about pay equity in the private sector.

Thank you for your note to Feminist.com. Your note was also forwarded to the National Center on Pay Equity, so you may be hearing from them, too.

My most immediate thoughts are that the public sector is subject to much more regulation on every issue than the private sector. For one, the public sector has the entire U.S. population to hold them responsible and accountable, whereas the private sectors has only their constituency and their consumers. We also can't forget that money talks--so those lucrative companies in the private sector often get away with a lot because people fear holding them accountable. It's a power play. Personally, I think the realization that 1.) it's the right thing to do and 2.) that it benefits everyone involved is what it is going to take for us to have pay equity in the private sector. It requires naming the problem and speaking out honestly about it. It is also going to take a lot of pressure from consumers. We allow them to get away with it, by not using our collective power to change it.


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