Breaking Through The Glass Ceiling

Next week, the PRESS of Southeast Queens will honor eight women—with careers in government, medicine, labor, banking, the FDNY and airline industry—who have made a difference in their line of work or community as part of the paper’s annual Glass Ceiling Awards.

This year’s theme focuses on enhancing women’s rights and promoting gender equality. Although women have made great strides in the workplace during the past few decades, there is clearly still a long way to go.

Only 6.4 percent of the CEOs on the annual Fortune 500 list were women, while only 19.4 percent of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives’ members are women. Nearly three-quarters of American workers who earn more than $100,000 per year are men, while women with an associate’s degree make, on average, $4,000 less per year than men with a high school diploma.

The United States recently slipped to 49th place in the World Economic Forum’s list of nations in terms of gender equality. And while New York has done a better job of closing the pay gap, women here still only make 89 cents for every $1 a man makes.

In other words, there is much left to be done. We implore our city and state leaders to continue trying to close the pay gap, and we call on the Queens Democratic and Republican parties to strive to elect more women to the City Council and state legislature.

We congratulate the eight women whom we will honor during a ceremony at Douglaston Manor next week. Their work sends a message to women that they should continue applying pressure to the glass ceiling until it cracks and then breaks open.

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