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The Gender Pay Gap, Happiness, and What it Could Mean for Profits

Earlier this week, June 10th, we celebrated the 50th anniversary of The Equal Pay Act being signed into national law. Women and their influence in the workforce have come a long way since the bill became law, but are women and men’s pay as equal as The Equal Pay Act would suggest?

A recent study released by the National Women’s Law Center has indicated that there are large state-by-state variations on just how wide the gap is between women and men in the same positions.  Over the last 50-years the gap has narrowed to a national average of 23 cents for the same positions and comparable qualifications.

Why does equality matter in the workforce?  Great ideas could be overlooked because a woman does not feel comfortable or equally compensated in their position and they do not speak out. Women are not likely to succeed if they are not treated as candidates for success.

Innovations and positive company experiences are directly linked to equal treatment and could benefit a company’s profits and customer relations says Tony Hsieh’s new book Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose. Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos and speaker at our upcoming conference in Grand Rapids, MI, has a lot more to say about creating a positive company culture inclusive of all. Equal treatment of employees is a key to happiness and success. The focus should be on creating a positive company culture inclusive of all and profits will stem from this relationship.

For more on Tony Hsieh’s book see our ReThink article and to collaborate on some great ideas while hearing from incredibly successful and influential speakers like Mr. Hsieh and Bruce Katz, Vice President of Brookings, sign up for our conference: The Art of the Collaborative City September 29-October 1, 2013 in Grand Rapids, MI.


Valerie Lightner is a CEOs for Cities Summer Success Fellow. Valerie is a Junior at Kenyon College in central Ohio, majoring in Anthropology with a minor in History and a concentration in Women’s and Gender Studies. She was raised on the east side of Cleveland and is, of course, very passionate about her Cleveland teams. She also loves blues music, animals, and city exploration adventures. This upcoming school year she is excited to embark on her first international adventure, studying abroad in Denmark and England. Valerie hopes to continue her work in non-profits after graduation, potentially moving in the direction of social activism in urban centers.

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