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Business women speak about gender inequality

LAWTON, Okla._According to a new study from wallethub.com, Oklahoma is ranked as forty-fifth in the country when it comes to issues of gender inequality.

Today is National Women's Equality Day, marking the passage of women gaining the right to vote, and across the country, states and women's rights groups are taking a closer look at what can be done to narrow the gender gap.

These women, ranging from finance advisers to business owners, all share one thing in common, their struggle to get to success.

The financial field is heavily male-dominated and Rebecca Perryman, a financial adviser, says when she first started she was greatly outnumbered.

"I always felt like maybe some of the guys weren't so interested in my being there,” said Perryman.

She says when she would attend conventions, there were only about a fourth of female advisers there, but the business has now evolved.

"They want to acquire women, they want people of color. They want to prove themselves to be diverse," said Perryman.

One thing she thinks hasn't evolved as quickly as it should is equal pay. For about 10 years, Perryman, along with the Lawton Business Women organization and other Oklahoma women, has tried to convince the state legislature to pass a bill requiring employers to pay women the same amount they pay men. But unfortunately, it has been sitting there without any action for the past two years.

"It's very frustrating. I don't really quite understand why someone would be against it," said Perryman.

Shannon Hall-Sanders, a daycare owner in Duncan, hasn't had to deal with unequal pay, but the road to getting there wasn't fair.

"My husband had to come in and join forces with me, because a lot of times when you are trying to open up something, they don't really take you serious," said Hall-Sanders.

Perryman says she doesn't think women have much longer to go and wants them to know that a little information can go a long ways.

"If you are willing to go to school, become well informed, you can be anything you want to be. I think women have an advantage sometimes," said Perryman.

Perryman says her organization, the Lawton Business Women, also gives out scholarships to young women to help them with college and business expenses.

 

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