When Title IX was signed into law on June 23rd, 1972 by President Nixon the promise of equality and change to undo the longsuffering of injustice was bright. Years later, the reliance of Title IX allows women equal access to educational programs and activities that in years long past would simply not have been as available to them.
Now fifty years later it is a good time for retrospection to see what we have achieved and where we have fallen short.
FULFILLING BIG PROMISES
Title IX promised the prohibition of sex discrimination in any educational program or activity receiving any type of federal financial aid. That’s big when you consider life prior to June 23, 1972, especially the funding and protections afforded or not offered. The hope was that a stroke of a pen could instantly bring equity to all aspects of education – in the classroom and in the locker room.
But today, we are still waiting to see that dream become reality:
- As of a few years ago, the gender gap in the United States was still unbalanced with women, on average, earning 82-85 cents for every dollar that a man makes.
- In the boardroom, there are only 27% women CEOs at Fortune 500 companies, and the same holds true for their positions in the political arena.
- At present, the United States doesn’t have a federally mandated paid maternity leave policy, leaving it to individual employers and states to decide.
- And the debate continues on women’s access to reproductive healthcare where state-by-state disparities exist.
A little over a year ago, Ali Kershner from Stanford posted two pictures in an Instagram post. This was during the NCAA basketball tournament, showing the training area available to all male athletes in the tournament and another showing the women’s facility. The men’s facility was well-appointed with a variety of equipment. The women’s, on the other hand, had just a few dumbbells and a couple of yoga mats.
The post showed that although progress had been made, the journey was far from complete. Until the intent of the legislation was exercised as action, it was still a dream, one that many would say was a hollow promise, unfulfilled.
Title IX can still end up being an emperor with no clothes, yet another unfulfilled promise of a better future. Or it can become the reality that the dream is on full display.
MORE THAN A SOCIAL JUSTICE CAMPAIGN
There is no better way to support women globally than to support the amazing women within your own organization. To drive a culture of compliance that welcomes women and their feedback, corporations should encourage their teams to report incidents, attend training and follow current procedures and policies. Making them easy to find, consume, and understand will support adoption, keep employees safe, and protect your business. Discover how Star’s Employee Incident & Policy Management Solution can help by making your employee compliance simple and easy.