Women salaries trail male counterparts

A lthough International Women's Day has passed, it's important to continue to strive for equality.

Case in point: a press release from the Alberta Federation of Labour, which shows that women are lagging behind in wages.

The average Albertan woman earns 72 cents for every dollar Albertan men make.

Perhaps most surprising to me is that the amount drops for women with university degrees.

Women with comparable degrees earn 67 cents for every dollar a man makes.

Female managers are still making less than male counterparts, with 86 cents to every dollar.

Alberta is also number one in lone-parent poverty rate, with 24 per cent of single-parents living in poverty compared to 16 per cent for the rest of Canada.

This is not right.

There is no excuse for these statistics.

Part of the reason may be that Alberta is the only jurisdiction without a minister for the status of women.

Clearly, this must change.

We should be promoting equality everywhere in the world, including in our own backyard.

Twitter Train

The social networking site Twitter is now five years old. Initially, I was rather reluctant to hop aboard the Twitter train. Microblogging is too frequently used to update followers on what the user had for breakfast, or follow apparent drug-addicted celebrities accused of abusing their wives.

Yet it has been used for tremendous good, sharing information about protests in Libya and the destruction following the disaster in Japan, to name some recent examples.

From a journalist's perspective, it is another avenue to promote and connect with readers.

It's more personal than just the newspaper, but can still be used to aid traditional journalism. It's somewhere between formal and personal.

I've seen misinformation far too many times to believe it's an entirely reliable form of communication, but it is certainly a helpful supplement.

The reality is, there is a very small segment of the Twitter population producing the bulk of tweets.

However, not everyone is on Twitter.

Many businesses have yet to fully grasp the best way of using Twitter.

I won't follow a business who is spamming message about sales on office supplies, but a restaurant who posts a daily special may be worth a follow.

Where this micro-blogging site will be in the future it is hard to say. It could play a much larger role in politics, journalism and activism, or it could go the way of MySpace.

Time will tell.

Sherwood-Strathcona County News, Mon Mar 21 2011
Byline: Catherine Griwkowsky

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