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Removing Roadblocks to Equal Pay for Women

February 13, 2009

Lansing, MI - Many women 40 years old and older are finding it difficult to overcome financial and employment barriers. But, when President Obama signed his first bill, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, it was another step in helping these women attain equal pay for equal work, according to AARP.

Jacqueline Morrison, AARP Michigan's associate state director for economic security, says women 40-and-older are disproportionately at risk of having insufficient resources due to lower earnings and different work patterns.

"Often women are taking time off from work to raise families, or they get back in the workforce late or they leave to care for aging parents."

But employers often know these women bring unique qualities to the table, particularly in today's economy, adds Morrison. Older workers just may have an advantage when employers cut their staffs.

"They're spared because of their experience, their maturity, their work ethic and trustworthiness. The age, with skills, is a plus for many employers."

In addition to advocating favorable federal laws, AARP also provides education and training opportunities, including the Women’s Scholarship Program, designed to help women overcome financial and employment barriers. More information is available at www.aarp.org/foundation.

Tony Bruscato, Public News Service - MI