Working Women Say… Ohio Executive Summary
March 9, 2000
Lake, Snell, Perry & Associates
One in four working women in the U.S. today holds a job with normal hours at night or on weekends, as do 23 percent of women in Ohio, according to a new poll conducted by Lake, Snell, Perry & Associates for the AFL-CIO, the umbrella organization for America’s unions. Half of working women polled nationwide, and four out of ten in Ohio work different hours than their spouses or partners.
Working women polled in Ohio and across the nation also report remarkable unanimity in their top job-related legislative priorities: equal pay, paid family leave, health care and retirement security were the top concerns of women despite race, income or educational level.
The survey found:
- Women polled strongly support measures to help them meet family obligations while working. Eighty-three percent of working women nationwide and 85 percent in Ohio say that expanding the Family Medical Leave Act and providing paid leave is important to them. Thirty-four percent of women polled nationwide and 40 percent in Ohio say they don’t have flexibility over their hours. Fifty-four percent of U.S. women and 43 percent in Ohio don’t have paid leave to care for a baby. Finally 74 percent of women polled nationwide and 83 percent of Ohio women don’t have child care benefits.
- Stronger equal pay laws are a top legislative priority, with 87 percent nationally and 80 percent in Ohio saying it’s important. Working women in both Ohio and the nation earn only about 73 cents for every dollar that men earn. Eighty percent of women polled nationally and 87 percent in Ohio support stronger affirmative action laws to provide more opportunities for all women.
- Roughly one-quarter of working women nationally and 18 percent in Ohio say their jobs don’t offer secure, affordable health insurance. The vast majority of working women, 84 percent nationally and 83 percent in Ohio say making quality health care more affordable is important.
- Finally, because women will earn less and accumulate less wealth during their lifetimes, they are far more likely than men to retire poor. More than a quarter of all working women polled in Ohio and the nation don’t receive a pension or retirement benefits on the job. Eighty-six percent of working women in Ohio say that it is important to improve pensions and protect social security.
Working women say they want a strong voice in the workplace and they want respect – – they see working together as a way to achieve their goals. More than three-quarters of women polled say respect and recognition for a job well done is what they want most on the job – – that figure rises to 84 percent among women making less than $25,000 a year. About eight in 10 working women in Ohio and the nation say that they want the backing of an organization.
This poll showed that working women who were members of unions were more likely than women without a union to have employer-provided pension and health benefits, equal pay, paid sick leave and family leave. In 1997, women who were covered by collective bargaining agreements in Ohio made 41 percent more than women who were not and made more than non-unionized men, according to the State of Working Ohio, written by Amy Hanauer and Mark Cassell and published last year by the Northeast Ohio Research Consortium.
“Working Women Say…” is based on a new national telephone survey of 765 working women over the age of 18 nationwide, conducted by Lake Snell Perry & Associates, Inc. research for the AFL-CIO. With more than five million working women members, the AFL-CIO is the nation’s largest organization of working women. The study included an oversample in Ohio, where 176 women were polled. The “Working Women Say…” reports are part of a year-long project by the AFL-CIO Working Women’s Department to highlight women’s issues and concerns going into the 2000 elections.
Lake Snell Perry & Associates, Inc. is a national political research firm, focused on the politics of the women’s vote, the youth vote, children as a political issue, and the environmental movement today.