The Women’s Fund is focused on equity of economic opportunities for women. Our aim is for all women in greater New Bedford to be able to earn enough for self-sufficiency. But we know there is a “gender gap” at every income level. In a recent Pew Research study about just that, survey respondents asked about what’s holding women back from top jobs reported overwhelmingly that women are equally qualified, but barriers persist. The public’s view is that these barriers include the pressure of family responsibility as well as some negative stereotypes about women. The top barriers as described by those surveyed related to double standards directed toward women climbing the organizational ladders: “women are held to higher standards” and the organizations’ top brass and the general public are “not ready to hire/elect women leaders”. Screen Shot 2015-01-28 at 8.59.27 PM Women must be paid equitably for equal work and also given equal opportunities for promotions at all levels. We must reduce the financial and work gender gaps to further empower and enable women to support themselves and their families, consistent with the privileges that hardworking men have. What can I do to keep advancing this agenda? I can talk about it by engaging both men and women in open dialogue, I can explore options and address real barriers while dispelling the myth of unproven barriers, and maintain and claim my worth in a world still currently dominated by men. Join me and the many others having this important and growing conversation. Let’s talk. #wfsema #YourWFSema #GetEvenEarnMore #GenderEquality #WageEquality Screen Shot 2015-01-28 at 9.00.31 PM By, Dez Savoy Administrative & Marketing Officer Women's Fund of Southeastern Ma.