Parents Helping Parents of Wyoming State Parenting Center

Posts tagged ‘tolerance’

Tolerance in Wyoming’s Culture- More than Men Vs. Women

Erin Swilling- Parent Educator in Cheyenne

Last week we blogged about the difference in Wyoming in pay scale for women vs. men;  being from California I am often asked why I moved here or why I am still here 18 years later. I’ve often reflected on why I like it here so much.  It is very different from CA, where I spent my first 17 years of life. And if you look at some of Wyoming’s statistics it certainly could make me question why I have chosen to stay and raise my own family. 

I’ve taken the last week to visit with co-workers, family and friends to get their feel of tolerance in our community. The consensus is that people are aware of the intolerance we (as women) face in pay, in minority culture, in progression and growth, etc. In visiting with a variety of people in the last week I realized that the majority of us were not born and raised here. I think times and expectations are changing. Slowly, yes.  But the idea that women should command less than men in the workforce is certainly not supported among the people I have talked to. 

So the question, why am I raising my own family here, needs to be looked at. It’s my goal to raise children who will help shape what tolerance not only looks like, but also change what it means. As our younger generations move up through the ranks and begin to be voices in our state, among our workforce, and throughout our lives and beyond the look and feel of Wyoming will change. I think that alone makes the teaching of tolerance in our great state an exciting and hopeful prospect. I like to think I am a part of that.  And even more that my three children will continue on with that same knowledge in their attitudes, interactions and life.

Teaching tolerance in Wyoming

Jennifer Petri- PIC Outreach Parent Liaison- Rock Springs and Green River, WY

I like females.  I like my daughters, my sisters, my mother, my co-workers, my girl friends, and myself.  I like Hillary Clinton, Condoleezza Rice, Sarah Palin, Nancy Pelosi, and Michelle Obama.  I respect what they do and admire their abilities.  Who wouldn’t?

Strangely, many people in Wyoming show a shocking level of intolerance for women.  Women are paid, on average, 55 pennies for every dollar a man makes in Wyoming.  Their abilities and contributions are given much lower value that that of their male counterparts.  Education does not improve the pay gap, in fact, it exacerbates it.

This discouraging fact illustrates this phenomenon:  The University of Wyoming consistently graduates more female law students than male.  Despite this, out of 25 Wyoming District Court judge, only 1 is female.  Out of 30 circuit court judges, only 5 are female.

Out of our 60 house legislators, only 13 are female.  Out of 31 Wyoming senators, only 1 is female.   The examples could go on and on…

Teaching tolerance begins with women.  As females, we need to accept and encourage each other in our efforts both professional and personal.  Each time a woman is degraded, all of us are degraded.  Each time we reach out and elevate a mother, daughter, friend, and co-worker, we are all supported.  Go Ladies!  Ya’ll know I’ll support you.

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