Make us your home page

Strategically Speaking: women have made a difference in the workplace

August is National Women's Month and a good time to review how working women have changed the landscape of the workplace.

Most experts cite the '70s as the time large numbers of women began working outside of the home. And when the Bureau of Labor Statistics began keeping records in 1913, women made up 20 percent of the workforce.

A century later, the numbers tell quite another story. Women make up 60 percent of the U.S. workforce. Of those, about 70 percent are mothers with children younger than 18.

Why the big jump? Experts cite better education. Also women who worked during World War II broke old taboos and made working outside the home okay, even desirable. Plus economic realities have made two-income households commonplace.

As attitudes changed, so did employment laws. Many now benefit both genders. Four of the most important are:

The Equal Pay Act of 1963. This prohibits gender-based wage discrimination in the same establishment when jobs performed by either men or women are substantially the same. Some argue that this is hard to enforce because pay is based on many things including experience and education. The Equal Rights Amendment of 1972 still has to be ratified by all the states. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that on average women make 81 cents of every dollar men make for the same job.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. It prohibited discrimination on the basis of numerous factors including gender. Women could no longer be denied employment because of their sex.

Sexual harassment laws. The Civil Rights Act stipulates against sexual harassment and in 1980 the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission defined sexual harassment as "unwelcome sexual advances" or lewd comments or behavior that created "an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment."

Family Medical Leave Act of 1993. It allows employees of covered, eligible employers to take unpaid leave for numerous situations including pregnancy, care for family members and medical conditions.


Marie Stempinski is founder and president of Strategic Communication in St. Petersburg. She specializes in public relations, content marketing, business development and employee motivation. She can be reached at or through her website

Strategically Speaking: women have made a difference in the workplace 07/24/13 [Last modified: Friday, August 2, 2013 1:13pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Culver's crosses into Brandon near Selmon Expressway


    BRANDON — Like many children, Theresa Hutchins recalls pleading with her parents to take her for ice cream.

    Theresa Hutchins and her fianc? Mike Carelli opened the Tampa Bay area’s newest Culver’s August 28 in Brandon at 2470 S Falkenburg Road.
  2. Back to life: Event helps Riverview revert to peaceful pace after Irma

    Human Interest

    RIVERVIEW — Robin and Ray Castell say establishing residency in the Winthrop Village was one of the best decisions of their lifetime.

    hillsbrandon092217: Meredith Tucker of Riverview, the mother of two children and another one soon on the way, browses the racks of Dot Dot Smile children?€™s clothing as company merchandiser Kelcie Schranck, standing behind her in the black shirt, looks on during the first-of-its-kind Recruiting the Community event on Sept. 17 at the Barn at Winthrop in Riverview. Photo by Joyce McKenzie.
  3. SEC says hackers may have profited from stolen info


    The Securities and Exchange Commission says its corporate filing system was hacked last year and the intruders may have used the nonpublic information they obtained to profit illegally.

    In this file photo, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman nominee Jay Clayton testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Banking Committee. The SEC says a cyber breach of a filing system it uses may have provided the basis for some illegal trading in 2016. [AP file photo]
  4. Trigaux: For Class of 2016, college debt loads favor Florida graduates


    Florida college graduates saddled with student debt: Take heart. The average debt Class of 2016 Florida grads must bear is less than students in most states.

    University of South Florida undergraduates gather at the USF Sun Dome in Tampa for last fall's commencement ceremony. A new survey finds their average student debt upon graduating was $22,276. Statewide, 2016 Florida grads ranked a relatively unencumbered 45th among states, averaging $24,461 in student debt. [Photo Luis Santana | Times]
  5. After Hurricane Irma, many ask: How safe are shelters?


    NAPLES — Residents of the Naples Estates mobile home park beamed and cheered when President Donald Trump and Gov. Rick Scott strolled amid piles of shredded aluminum three days after Hurricane Irma to buck up residents and hail the work of emergency responders. But almost nobody had anything good to say about …

    The Islamic Society of Tampa Bay Area opened its doors to anyone seeking temporary shelter during Hurricane Irma. Evacuees were housed in the Istaba multipurpose building and was quickly at capacity housing over 500 people. [Saturday, September 9, 2017] [Photo Luis Santana | Times]