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Women in blue-collar industries not given the same opportunities

As gender equality and the emphasis on higher education meet in today's society, more people take on jobs considered outside the social norm for men and women. At the same time, more people with higher education enter the workforce with fewer job skills. The need for marketable labor skills has led to the re-emergence of the need for young blue-collar workers in America.

Where do opportunities begin?

A new study conducted by students at Cornell University and published this year in the American Sociological Review says women in blue collar communities and industries are not afforded the same opportunities or wage offerings as their male counterparts. The study suggests that gender differences and wage outcomes in blue collar careers and communities begin with high school course offerings and selection.

In fact, the largest wage gap between men and women exists within blue collar jobs. As of 2012, women in blue collar occupations earned $3.80 per hour less than their male counterparts according to the study. It is tough to pin down what might lead to gender inequality following high school course offerings, but a catalyst for change rests in employment law and civil litigation.

Where does change begin?

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission forbids sex-based discrimination in any aspect of employment including pay, promotions and job assignments. Anti-discrimination laws began with the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and the Civil Rights Act of 1964, both of which put into place the mission the EEOC now works to enforce.

Workers in all career fields are offered the same protection under Equal Pay Act and Civil Rights Act. Although those laws were passed more than 50 years ago, employees today are still working toward achieving equality in the workplace.

If you believe your employer is discriminating against you based on your sex or gender orientation, you may be entitled to compensation under the law. Where the red letter of the law cannot enforce, an employment law attorney may be able to step in on your behalf.

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