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White House Study Illustrates Gender Wage Gap on 'Equal Pay Day'

Aired May 11, 2000 - 1:33 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

LOU WATERS, CNN ANCHOR: Armed with a new White House survey on the wage gap between men and women, President Clinton pushes a $27 million plan to boost education for high-tech jobs and to enforce equal pay laws.

According to the survey, women in the United States, on average, earn 75 cents for every dollar earned by their equally qualified male counterparts. For black and Hispanic women, the figure drops even more.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WILLIAM J. CLINTON, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: African- American women earn 64 cents for every dollar earned by white men.

In other words, they would have to work all of last year and into July of this year before they earned as much as the average white male earned in 1999, for Hispanic women, listen to this, Equal Pay Day won't come until late October.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WATERS: One place the high-tech pay gap is evident is California's Silicon Valley.

CNN's Don Knapp reports the region's male dominant industries are becoming less so, however, slowly.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DON KNAPP, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Bonnie Crater earned her title of president and CEO of a new software company by side- stepping barriers to women in the other, older technology firms where she used to work.

BONNIE CRATER, OPENSALES INC.: There are so many opportunities in our industry that there's a great opportunity to leave those companies and start your own company, or become CEO of your own start- up company.

KNAPP: Crater rejects the notion of a glass ceiling, but acknowledges there are barriers to women in the male system of success. CRATER: Women tend to separate their home life and their work life, whereas men tend to integrate their home life and their hobby and their work life all in one, you know, one lifestyle.

KNAPP: So crater dumped the traditional women's model.

CRATER: I would never participate in a hobby where I would actively have people in my work be participating with me in my hobby. I would never do that because that would be violating that separation of home and work.

KNAPP (on camera): Now you do?

CRATER: Now I do.

JENNIFER COOPER, OPENSALES INC.: Now, so if we run these customer reports based on territory.

KNAPP (voice-over): Jennifer Cooper, Crater's vice president for international sales, says her success came at some cost to her family.

COOPER: I've actually had to hire somebody to live with us and take care of my children from the time that they were very small, which, in fact, helped me be out of the house more.

KNAPP: More time on the road for the company, less time at home with her kids and husband. Successful women, like successful men, says Cooper, make trade-offs. Her advice to other women:

COOPER: I think that people who are inherently talented and are very aggressive and are very goal-oriented should absolutely go for it.

KNAPP: Even if it means combining one's career with one's personal and family life. It may be a winning formula, but it forces women to make some difficult choices.

Don Knapp, CNN, San Mateo, California.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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