Garrett’s Anti-Women, Anti-Business Record Forces Women to Choose Between Parenting and a Paycheck
PARAMUS – Josh Gottheimer, Candidate for the Fifth Congressional District, today unveiled a blueprint focused on increasing economic opportunities for women in business, including, business leaders and entrepreneurs, in North Jersey. Gottheimer announced his blueprint after holding discussions with a wide range of women business leaders in small, medium, and large companies throughout the District, including a conversation at the Bergen County Professional Women’s Network luncheon last Friday.Women are critical to creating jobs and spurring innovation in business across northern New Jersey. But there’s much more we can do to support women in business, so that their careers – and our economy – can thrive,” said Gottheimer.
Women-owned firms create 16 percent of all U.S. jobs and contribute $3 trillion to the U.S. economy. Yet only 4.4 percent of Fortune 500 CEOs are women. Many women entrepreneurs are unable to access capital to start a small business.
But the world is changing. With women at the helm, two of New Jersey’s largest companies, Campbell Soup Company and Kings Food Markets, and small and medium sized businesses such as Inrad Optics have flourished and employ thousands of people across the state. Within the next decade, women will control two-thirds of the United States consumer purchasing power. In the past decade, 58 percent of undergraduate degrees went to women.
Even still, women are still paid 79 cents on the dollar compared to men. Many women are forced to leave the workplace when they start a family given childcare or leave issues, even though two-thirds of families are dependent on two incomes to cover expenses.
Gottheimer’s economic blueprint to expand opportunities for women in business focuses on six key areas:
· Ensure Equal Pay for Equal Work. While women in the United States earn just 79 cents on the dollar compared to men, women in the Fifth Congressional District are even worse off, earning only 73 cents. We are underutilizing some of the finest minds and it’s costing us productivity and economic growth. According to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, if women were paid equally in New Jersey, the state GDP would increase 3 percent. This would create an additional $16.6 billion in additional income throughout the state.
· Eliminate the “Motherhood Penalty” and Promote Paid Family Leave. Women should not be forced to take a 20 percent less pay because they’ve started a family. We must promote policies that help both parents manage the demands of raising a family with the demands of the workplace, rather than having to choose one or the other. This means working together to find common ground on Paid Family Leave, for companies greater than a certain size.
· Expanding Programs that Reduce the Costs of Child Care. No parent should have to choose between a child and a paycheck. One of the greatest barriers to women reentering the workforce is the high cost of quality childcare. The average cost of childcare for a New Jersey family is $21,000; for many, it is even greater. Currently, families with incomes greater than $43,000 cannot claim the full 35 percent of the Child Care Tax Credit. Middle-class families should be able to claim the full tax credit for their childcare expenses.
· Encourage Access to Entrepreneurial Tools. Only $1 out of every $23 in small business loans is granted to a woman. Supporting women-owned businesses by providing them access to capital and familial support services is a smart investment in the New Jersey economy -- one that we should continue to promote. We must embrace policies that make it easier for women to start and grow a business, specifically when it comes to access to credit.
· Promoting Accessible Training Programs for the Economy of the Future. By 2018, there could be 2.4 million unfilled Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) jobs in the United States. Today, women in New Jersey hold fewer than 30 percent of the engineering certificates in the state and only 27 percent of STEM-related jobs. We must do more to encourage women to enter STEM fields. By closing the STEM education gap, we can help ensure future generations can keep our economy moving. Read the full plan to close the STEM education gap here.
· Making College More Affordable. Women are now 20 percent more likely than men to graduate college, but they are also facing a disproportionately greater student debt burden. We need to support measures that make college more affordable, such as students being able to refinance student loans at lower rates. We need to make it easier, not harder, for students to finance investments in their future and ours.
The Women’s Economic Opportunity Blueprint: A Roadmap to Greater Opportunities for Women in Business can be accessed here.
Tea Partier Scott Garrett has consistently opposed efforts to assist women executives and entrepreneurs and strengthen opportunities for women in the workplace.
“Tea Partier Garrett has spent his career forcing women to choose between parenting and a paycheck. No one should be forced to make that choice, no matter how extreme one’s ideological bend.”
· Garrett Voted Against Equal Pay for Equal Work. The Tea Partier voted against the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and voted five times against the Paycheck Fairness Act. [S 181, Vote #37; H. Res. 200, Vote #154, H. Res. 189, Vote #148, H. Res. 544, Vote #169, H. Res. 146, Vote #97, H. Res. 198, Vote #132]
· Garrett Opposed Bill to Provide Paid Parental Leave to Federal Employees. In 2008, Garrett voted against a bill that would provide paid leave to four of the twelve weeks of parental leave given to federal and congressional employees. Employees would have also been allowed to use accrued annual or sick leave for parental leave. [HR 5781, Vote #428]
· Garrett Voted Against Providing Financial Assistance to Female Entrepreneurs. In 2001, Garrett voted against providing financial assistance to female entrepreneurs through a micro-business credit program. [GovNetNJ.com, S510, 3/08/01]
· Garrett Opposed Giving the Child Tax Credit to 6.5 Million Families. In 2003, Garrett voted against a motion to expand the child tax credit to 6.5 million low-income families. [HR 1308, Vote #275]
· Garrett Voted for ‘Students Pay More Act.’ In 2013, Garrett voted for a bill that would ultimately lead to higher interest rates on certain government student loans, based on projections from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. [HR 1911, Vote #183, 5/23/13]